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A considerable number of years has elapsed 
since I was convinced that the reformed opinions 
had spread to a much greater extent in Italy than is 
commonly supposed. This conviction I took an 
opportunity of making public, and at the same time 
expressed a wish that some individual who had 
leisure would pursue the inquiry and fill up what 
I considered as a blank in the History of the Re- 
formation. Hearing of none who was willing to 
accept the invitation, I lately resolved to arrange 
the materials relating to the subject which had oc- 
curred to me in the course of my reading, with the 
addition of such facts as could be discovered by a 
more careful search into the most probable sources 
of information. 

To some of the quarters from which the most 
interesting information might be expected, I enter- 


posthumous publication, this work is of great utili- 
ty, and has induced later Italian writers to bring 
forward facts which they might otherwise, like 
their predecessors, have passed unnoticed. Had I 
seen this work earlier, it might have saved me much 
trouble ; but I do not regret the circumstance of its 
having come so late into my hands, as I was led, in 
the absence of such a help, into researches which I 
would have been tempted to decline, but which 
have enabled me to supply in part its defects, and 
to correct some of the mistakes into which its au- 
thor had inadvertently fallen. 

The Historia Reformationis Hceticarum J^ccle- 
siarum, by Rosius de Porta, has furnished me with 
a number of important facts respecting the Italian 
refugees. To throw light on the settlements which 
they formed in the Grisons I have given a sketch 
of the history of the Reformation in that country, 
which I trust will not be unacceptable to the reader. 

It has not been in my power to procure several 
Italian works, which I have reason to think would 
have helped to illustrate parts of my subject. Some 
of the most curious and valuable of those quoted in 
the following pages I had the opportunity of examin- 
ing in Holland, and particularly in the library of 
the venerable Mons. Chevalier, one of the pastors 
of the French church in Amsterdam, whose un- 


common politeness I have to acknowledge, in not 
only allowing me the freest use of his books, but 
also in transmitting to me a number of extracts 
which I had not time to make during my short stay 
in that city. 

Amidst such a multiplicity of facts, as to many 
of which I had not the advantage arising from a 
comparison of different authorities, I do not flatter 
myself that with all my care I have kept free from 
mistakes ; and shall feel obliged to any one who shall 
put it in my power to correct the errors which I may 
have committed. 

It was my intention, even after the work went to 
the press, to include in this volume an account of 
the progress and suppression of the Reformation 
in Spain. This I have found impracticable, and 
accordingly have reserved that part of my under- 
taking for a separate publication. I regret this de- 
lay the less, that it will enable me to avail myself 
of an extensive collection of Spanish books which 
has been lately purchased by the Faculty of Advo- 

Edinburgh, toh May, 1827. ' 




















INDEX 427 






It is an undoubted fact, though it may appear 
improbable to those who are imperfectly acquaint- 
ed with ecclesiastical history, that the supremacy 
claimed by the bishops of Rome was resisted in 
Italy after it had been submitted to by the most 
remote churches of the West. The diocese of Italy, 
of which Milan was the capital, remained long in- 
dependent of Rome, and practised a different ritual, 
according to what was called the Ambrosian Li- 
turgy. It was not till the eleventh century that 
the popes succeeded in establishing their authority 
at Milan, and prevailed on the bishops of that see 



to procure the archi-episcopal pall from Rome. 
When this was first proposed, it excited great in- 
dignation on the part of the people as well as of the 
clergy, who maintained that the Ambrosian church, 
according to the most ancient institutions, was free 
and independent ; that the Roman pontiff had no 
right to judge or dispose of any thing connected 
with it ; and that they could not, without incurring 
disgrace, subject to a foreign yoke that see which 
had preserved its freedom during so many ages.* 

As the supremacy of the bishop of Rome met 
with strenuous opposition, so were there individuals 
in the darkest age who resisted the progress of 
those superstitions which proved the firmest sup- 
port of the pontifical power. Among these was 
Claud, bishop of Turin, who, in the ninth century, 
distinguished himself not only by his judicious com- 
mentaries on Scripture, but also by his vigorous op- 
position to the worship of images and pilgrimages to 
Rome ; on which account he, with his followers in 
Italy, have been branded as Arians by popish his- 
torians, who are ever ready, upon the slightest 
pretexts, to impute odious opinions to those who 
have dissented from the dominant church. f 

* Petri Damiani Opusc. p. 5. The archbishop of Milan having 
consulted lloboald, bishop of Alva, the latter replied, that " he would 
sooner have liis nose slit" than advise him to comply with the demand 
of pope Honorius " quod prius sustineret nasum suum scindi usque 
ad oculos quam daret sibi consilium ut susciperet Roma? stolam," &c 
(Ughelli Italia Sacra, torn. iv. p. 189.) 

t Dupin, Hist. Eccl. tome vii. p. 3. Simon, Hist. Crit. du N. 
Test. chap. xxv. Weismanni Memorab. Hist. Eccles. torn. i. p. 761. 


Soon after the bishops of Rome had secured the 
obedience of the Italian clergy, and silenced the op- 
position which arose from Turin, their attention 
was called to a new class of opponents. Those 
Christians, known in history by the several names 
of Vaudois, Waldenses, and Albigenses, who con- 
demned the corruptions by which the church was 
now everywhere infected, penetrated through the 
Alps into Italy ; and had already, in the year 1180, 
established themselves in Lombardy and Puglia, 
where they received frequent visits from their bre- 
thren in other countries.* At an early part of the 
thirteenth century they were to be found in the ca- 
pital of Christendom. In the year 1231, pope Gre- 
gory IX. published a furious bull against them, 
ordaining that they should be sought out and de- 
livered to the secular arm to be punished, and that 
such as harboured them should be declared in- 
famous, along with their children to the second 
generation. The senator, or chief magistrate, of 
Rome set on foot an inquisition agreeably to the mu- 
nicipal laws of the city, in consequence of this bull, 
which was also sent by the pope to the archbishop 
of Milan, with injunctions to see it executed in his 
diocese and those of his suffragans, where heresy 
had already made an alarming progress. That it 
had also spread in Naples and Sicily appears from 
a letter to the pope by the emperor Frederick II. 

Leger, Hist, des Eglises Evangeliques, part. ii. p. 202. 


who condemned such as were convicted of heresy to 
the fire, but allowed the bishops to show mercy 
where they thought it proper, provided the tongues 
of those who were pardoned were cut out, so that 
they might not again blaspheme.* At Genoa, and 
in some of the neighbouring cities, they had their 
houses and other receptacles in which they assembled, 
with their barbs or religious teachers. f Notwith- 
standing the persecutions to which they were ex- 
posed, the Waldenses maintained themselves in 
Italy ; they kept up a regular correspondence with 
their brethren in other countries ; and in the four- 
teenth century they had academies in Lombardy, 
which were frequented by youth, and supported by 
contributions, from churches of the same faith in 
Bohemia and Poland 4 

In the year 1370, the Vaudois who resided in the 
valleys of Pragela, finding themselves straitened in 
their territories, sent some of their number into Italy 
to look out for a convenient settlement. Having dis- 
covered, in Calabria, a district uncultivated and thin- 
ly peopled, the deputies bargained with the proprie- 

Rainakli Annal. ad ann. 1231, n. xiv. 18 20. Compare the first 
Document in the Appendix to Allix's Remarks on the History of the 
Ancient Churches of Piedmont, pp. 297, 298. 

t VV r eismanni Memor. Hist. torn. i. p. 1096. Mons. Court de Ge- 
belin, in his Diet ion naire Etymologique, says that the Vaudois were 
called Barbets, " parce que leur pasteurs s'appelloient Barbe du mot 
Venetien Burba, un ancien, un chef a Barbe." 

% Wolfh Memor. Lect. torn. i. 312. Beze, Hist. Eccl. des Eglises 
Ref. de France, tome i. pp. 35, 36. Perrin, Hist, de Vaudois, part. i. 
pp. 240242. 


tors of the soil, in consequence of which a number 
of their brethren emigrated thither. Within a short 
time the place assumed a new appearance ; villages 
rose in every direction ; the hills resounded with the 
bleating of flocks; and the valleys were covered with 
corn and vines. The prosperity of the new settlers 
excited the envy of the neighbouring villagers, who 
were irritated at the distance which they preserved, 
and at their refusal to join with them in their revels 
and dissipation. The priests finding that they receiv- 
ed nothing from them but their tithes, which they 
paid regularly according to the stipulation entered into 
with the proprietors ; and perceiving that they prac- 
tised none of the ceremonies visual at the interring 
of their dead, that they had no images in their cha- 
pels, did not go in pilgrimage to consecrated places, 
and had their children educated by foreign teachers, 
whom they held in great honour, began to raise the 
cry of heresy against the simple and inoffensive 
strangers. But the landlords, gratified to see their 
grounds so highly improved, and to receive large 
rents for what had formerly yielded them nothing, 
interposed in behalf of their tenants : and the priests, 
finding the value of their tithes yearly to increase, 
resolved prudently to keep silence.* The colony re- 
ceived accessions to its members, by the arrival of 
their brethren who fled from the persecutions raised 
against them in Piedmont and France ; it continued 
to flourish when the Reformation dawned on Italy ; 

* Perrin, i. 198198. 


and after subsisting for nearly two centuries, it was 
basely and barbarously exterminated.* 

It is a curious circumstance, that the first gleam 
of light at the revival of letters shone on that re- 
mote spot of Italy, where the Vaudois had found an 
asylum. Petrarch first acquired the knowledge of 
the Greek tongue from Barlaam, a monk of Cala- 
bria ; and Boccacio was taught it by Leontius Pi- 
latus, who was a hearer of Barlaam, if not also a na- 
tive of the sameplace,and for whom his grateful pupil 
procured an appointment among the professors of 
Florence.-}- The example and the instructions of two 
individuals, however eminent for genius and popu- 
larity, could not impart a permanent impulse to the 
minds of their countrymen, or overcome the ob- 
stacles which at that time opposed the cultivation of 
ancient letters. But the taste which they had been 
the means of creating was revived, in the beginning 
of the fifteenth century, by those learned Greeks 
whom the feeble successors of Constantine sent to 
the papal court, to implore succours against the over- 
whelming power of the Turks, and who were induced 
to teach their native language in different parts of 
Italy. The fall of the eastern empire, and the tak- 
ing of Constantinople in 1453, brought them in 
greater numbers to that country, while it added im- 

* Pcrrin, i. 190. Lcger, P. ii. chap. i. p. 7. Morland, Hist, pf the 
Evang. Churches of Piedmont, p. 194. 

-f- Sismondi, Histoire des Republiques Italiennes, tome vi. pp. 160 
162, 168 170. Boccaccio calls Barlaam a native of Thessaly, 
(Thessalonicensis) but Petrarch says he was a Calabrian, although 
lie affected to be a Greek. (Hodius de Gneeis lllustribus, p. 2 5.) 


mensely to the stock of manuscripts, which indi- 
viduals had for some time before been in the habit 
of procuring from the east.* And the art of print- 
ing, which was invented about the same period, from 
its novelty, and its tendency to multiply the num- 
ber of copies of a book indefinitely and to afford 
them at a cheap rate, gave an incalculable accelera- 
tion to the human mind in its pursuit of knowledge. 
Ancient literature was now cultivated with the 
greatest enthusiasm ; it spread with amazing rapidity 
through Italy, and surmounting the Alps, reached 
within a short period the most northern extremities of 
Europe. The human mind was roused from the 
slumber by which it had been oppressed for ages ; its 
faculties were sharpened by the study of languages ; 
the stores of ancient knowledge were laid open ; the 
barbarism of the schools was exploded ; and opin- 

* Ginguene is of opinion, that too much influence has been ascrib- 
ed to the fall of the eastern empire in producing the revival of let- 
ters, and remarks that Florence would have become the new Athens, 
though the ancient one, with all its islands, and the city of Constan- 
tine, had not fallen under the stroke of an ignorant and barbarous 
conqueror. (Histoire Litteraire d'ltalie, tome hi. p. 18.) The re- 
mark of this elegant writer is not unnatural in one who, by minute 
investigations, had become acquainted with all the concurring causes 
of a great revolution. But he has himself owned that Boccacio's 
knowledge of Greek was extremely limited, and that the study 
of ancient literature languished after his death; it is undeniable 
that it was afterwards revived by the arrival of natives of Greece ; 
and what was the fall of Constantinople but the catastrophe of those 
calamities which at first induced these learned men to visit Italy, 
to which their successors now transferred their fixed residence and 
the wreck of their literary treasures ? 


ions and practices which had long been held sa- 
cred, and which a little before it would have been 
deemed impious to suspect, were now openly called 
in question, opposed, and repudiated. The rise of 
the papal monarchy, and the corruption of Chris- 
tianity may be traced in a great measure to the ig- 
norance and barbarism which fell on Western Eu- 
rope, and increased during the middle ages : the 
revival of letters, by banishing the darkness, broke 
the spell on which the empire of superstition rested, 
and opened the eyes of mankind on the chains with 
which their credulity had suffered their spiritual 
rulers to load them. 

A taste for letters does not, indeed, imply a 
taste for religion, nor did the arrival of the former 
necessarily infer the reformation of the latter. Some 
of the worst of men, such as pope Alexander VI. 
and his sons, encouraged literature and the arts ; 
and in the panegyrics which the learned men of 
that age lavished on their patronesses, we find 
courtezans of Rome joined with ladies of the most il- 
lustrious birth.* The minds of many of the restor- 
ers of literature in the fifteenth century were com- 
pletely absorbed by their favourite studies, Their 
views often did not extend beyond the discovery of 
an old manuscript, or printing and commenting on 
a classical author. Some of them carried their 
admiration of the literary monuments of pagan 
Greece so far as to imbibe the religious sentiments 

* Rosccv's Life of Leo X. vol. i. p. 33.5, 836. vol. ii. 220. 


which they inculcated ; and in the excess of their 
enthusiasm they did not scruple to give a species of 
adoration to the authors of such " divine works." * 
Others showed by their conduct that they were as 
great slaves to worldly passions as other men, and 
ready to support any establishment, however cor- 
rupt, which promised to gratify their avarice, their 
ambition, or their love of pleasure. Lorenzo de 
Medici, the munificent patron of letters, and him- 
self an elegant scholar, testified the most extrava- 
gant joy at his son's being elected a cardinal at seven 
years of age,f and gave the destined pontiff an edu- 
cation better fitted for a secular potentate than the 
head of the church ; a circumstance which probably 
contributed more to bring about the Reformation 
than all the patronage he lavished on literature and 
the arts. Bembo and Sadoleti were both apostoli- 
cal secretaries, and in their official character com- 
posed and subscribed the most tyrannical edicts of 
the court of Rome. The former, of whom it has 
been said, that he " opened a new Augustan age, 
emulated Cicero and Virgil with equal success, and 

* Marsil. Ficini Pref. in Plotinum ; et Epist. lib. viii. fol. 141. 
Sismondi, Hist, des Rep. Ital. tome viii. p. 238-9. Roscoe's Life of 
Lortnzo de Medici, vol. i. p. 162, 163, 169. Ginguene', Hist. Litt. 
d'ltalie, tome iii. p. 362. 

+ Roscoe's Life of Leo X. vol. i. p. 19. Another learned man did 
not scruple to write, on the occasion of this advancement, in the fol- 
lowing strain : " Semen autem Joannis ejusdcm, in quo benedicentur 
omnes gentes, est Joannes Laurentise genitus, cui adhuc adolescen- 
tulo divina providentia mirabilitcr Cardineam contulit dignitatem, 
futuri pontifieis auspicium." (Ficini Epist. lib. ix. fol. 159. Venet. 


recalled in his writings the elegance and purity of 
Petrarca and of Boccaccio," has his name affixed to 
the infamous Bull, vindicating the sale of indul- 
gences ; and the latter disgraced his elegant pen by 
drawing and signing the decree which condemned 
Luther as a heretic, ordaining that, if he conti- 
nued obstinate, he should be seized and sent to 
Rome, and authorizing the sentence of excommu- 
nication and interdict to be pronounced against 
all powers, civil or ecclesiastical, (the emperor 
excepted,) secular or regular, dukes, marquises, 
universities, communities, who should receive or 
harbour him.* Thus did these two polite scholars 
share between them the responsibility of measures 
which had it for their object to crush the most 
glorious attempt ever made to burst the chains of 
despotism ; and in compensation for the stigma in- 
flicted upon literature by the conduct of its repre- 
sentatives, we must be contented with being told, that 
they " first demonstrated that the purity of the 
Latin idiom was not incompatible with the forms 
of business, and the transactions of public affairs." 
There are, I doubt not, persons who will be gra- 
tified with the information which I have it in my 
power to afford them, that, before the Reformation, 
there were sums issued from the exchequer of the 
Vatican, as salaries to learned men, whose task it 
was to reform the buUarhim, by picking out all 
the solecisms which had crept into it, and substitute 

Iloscoe's Leo X. vol. iii. app. no. cli. and clix. 


ing purer and more classical words in their room.*' 
Who knows to what advantages this goodly work 
of expurgation would have led ? What elegant 
reading would not the papal bulls have furnished 
to our modern literati, if the barbarous reformers 
had not interfered, and, by their ill-timed clamour, 
turned the public attention from words to things 
from blunders in grammar to perversions of law and 
gospel ! 

But though many of the revivers of literature 
intended nothing less than a reformation of religion, 
they nevertheless contributed greatly to forward this 
desirable object. It was impossible to check the 
progress of the light which had been struck up, or 
to prevent the new spirit of inquiry from taking a 
direction towards religion and the church. Among 
other books which had long remained unknown or 
neglected, copies of the sacred writings in the ori- 
ginal languages, with the works of the Christian 
fathers, were now eagerly sought out, printed, and 
circulated, both in the original and in translations ; 
nor could persons of ordinary discernment and can- 
dour peruse these without perceiving, that the 
church had declined far from the Christian stand- 
ard, and the model of primitive purity, in faith, 
worship, and morals. This truth forced itself on 
the minds even of those who were interested in the 

* " Ante paucos annos, Rhomx>, ex acrario pontificis, eruditis ali- 
quot salarium dari solitum est, qui, e pontificuni Uteris, solcecisrnos 
tollerent." (Erasmi Roterd. Apologia, refellens suspiciones D. Jaco- 
bi Latomi, p. 16. Lovanii, 1519.) 


support of the existing corruptions. They felt that 
they stood on unsolid ground, and trembled to think 
that the secret of their power had been discovered, 
and was in danger of becoming every day better 
and more extensively known. This paralysed the 
exertions which they made in their own defence, 
and was a principal cause of that dilatory, vacillat- 
ing, and contradictory procedure which characteris- 
ed the policy of the court of Rome in its first at- 
tempts to check the progress of the reformed opin- 

The poets of the middle ages, known by the name 
of Troubadours, had joined with the Vaudois in con- 
demning the reigning vices of the priests ; and se- 
veral of the superstitious notions and practices by 
which the clergy increased their power and wealth 
were assailed in those lively satires, which were 
written in the ancient language of Provence, but 
read by the inhabitants of Italy and Spain. It is a 
curious circumstance, and may be considered as re- 
flecting honour on a sect which has been so unmer- 
cifully traduced by its adversaries, that the Noble 
Lej/$on, and other religious poems of the Vau- 
dois, which are among the earliest and rarest mo- 
numents of Provencal poetry, contain few of those 
satirical reflections on the clergy, which abound in 
the writings of their contemporaries who remained 
in the Romish church. " Indulgences, (says one of 
the latter,) pardons, God and the devil, all, the 
priests make use of. To some they allot paradise 
by their pardons: others they send to hell by their 


excommunications. There are no crimes for which 
pardon cannot be obtained from the monks : for 
money they grant to renegades and usurers that 
sepulture which they deny to the poor who have 
nothing to pay. To live at ease, to buy good fish, 
fine wheat-bread, and exquisite wines, is their great 
object during the whole year. God grant me to be 
a monk, if salvation is to be purchased at this price !" 
" If God (says another troubadour,) save those whose 
sole merit lies in loving good cheer, and paying their 
court to women if the black monks, the white 
monks, the templars, the hospitallers, gain heaven, 
then St. Peter and St. Andrew were great fools to 
submit to such torments for the sake of a paradise 
which costs others so little."* 

From the earliest dawn of letters in Italy, the 
corruptions of the Roman Church had been dis- 
covered by persons who entertained no thought of 
renouncing; her communion. Besides the severe 
allusions which he has made to this subject in dif- 
ferent parts of his immortal poem,f Dante wrote 

* Si monge niers vol dieus que sian sal, 

Per pro inanjar ni per femnas tenir, 

Ni monge blanc, per boulas a mentir, 

Ni per erguelh Temple ni Espital, 

Ni canonge per prestar a renieu, 

Bene tene per fol sanh Peir', sanh Andrieu, 

Que sofriro per Dieu aital turmen, 

S'aquest s'en van aissi a salvamen. 
(Raymond de Castelnau : Renouard, Choix des Poesies Orig. des 
Troubadours, tome iv. p. 383.) 

t Paradiso, Cant. 9. 18. 29. 32. Inferno, Cant. 19. In this last pass- 


a treatise in defence of the emperor against the pa- 
pal claims, in which he proves that the imperial 
power was undivided and independent of the Roman 
see, speaks disrespectfully of the reigning pope as 
a decretalist and no divine, and inveighs against 
his predecessors and their defenders, as notorious 
for ambition, avarice, and imprudence, and as per- 
sons, who showed themselves to be children of 
iniquity and the devil, while they boasted that they 
were sons of the church. * Petrarch and Boccaccio 
employed, each in his own style, their wit and hu- 
mour in exposing the frauds, and lashing the vices 
of the clergy ; not sparing the dignitaries of the 
church and the sovereign pontiffs themselves. 
They were followed by others of their countrymen, 
both in prose and verse ; and the lampoons against 
priests and friars which became common in other 
countries were imitations, and in many instances 
translations, of those of the Italian poets and satir- 
ists. In the beginning of the fifteenth century, 

age, as elsewhere, the poet asserts that Rome is meant by Babylon, in 
the book of the Revelation. 

Quella, che con le sette teste nacque, 

Et da le diece corna hebb' argomento, 

Fin che virtute al suo marito piacque. 

Fatto v' havete Dio d'oro et d'argento, 

Et che altr' e da voi a l'idolatre, 

Se non ch'egli uno, et da voi n'orate cento? 
Wolfii Lect. Memor. torn. i. 498 501. ii. G83, 695. The Mo- 
narchia of Dante was translated from the original Latin into Italian 
by Marsilio Ficini toward the close of the fifteenth century. Though 
not printed, it was put into the Index Prohibitorius of Rome for the 
year 1559. 


Laurentius Valla, " who rescued literature from the 
grave, and restored to Italy the splendour of her 
ancient eloquence," * wrote against the pretended 
donation of Constantine, and various papal abuses. 
This learned Italian had advanced far before his 
age in every species of knowledge : as a gramma- 
rian, a critic, a philosopher, and a divine, he was 
equally distinguished. His scholia on the New 
Testament, in which he proposes numerous correc- 
tions on the Vulgate, display an intimate acquaint- 
ance with the Greek language; and in his dialogue 
on free-will he defends with much acuteness the 
doctrine on that subject, and on predestination, af- 
terwards espoused by Luther and Calvin, f The 
freedom of his sentiments exposed him to the re- 
sentment of the patrons of ignorance ; and Valla 
was condemned to the flames, a punishment from 
which he was saved by the protection of Alphonsus 
V. of Arragon. $ 

Contemporary with Valla was Poggio Bracciolini, 
the author of an eloquent and pathetic description of 
the martyrdom of Jerome of Prague, of which he was 
an eye-witness, who employed his wit in exposing 
the vices of the clergy, and the ignorance and absur- 
dities of the preachers of that time, in his dialogues 
on avarice, luxury, and hypocrisy. That such free- 
doms should have been permitted in a pontifical 

* Erasmi Epist. lib. vii. ep. 3. 
f Lauientii Valise Opera, Basilese, 1540, fol. 

X Cave, Hist. Liter. App. 121, 122. Wolfius, ut supra, ii. 7. Gin- 
guene', Hist. Litte'r. d'ltalie, tome vii. p. 349. 


secretary, must excite surprise ; and tolerant and 
friendly to learned men as Nicholas V. was, it is 
probable that Poggio would have suffered for his 
temerity, had he not secured the protection of his 
master, by writing an invective against his rival, 
the anti-pope Amedaeus.* The writings of Baptista, 
the modern poet of Mantua, who flourished in the 
end of the fifteenth century, abound with censures 
of the corrupt manners of the court of Rome, which 
deserve the more credit, as they proceeded from a 
friar, whose verses are at least as much distinguish- 
ed for their moral purity as for their classical ele- 

It has been common to place the Florentine 
monk, Jerome Savonarola, among the witnesses of 
the truth before the Reformation ; and some have 
called him the Luther of Italy4 Others have de- 
scribed him as an ambitious fanatic and turbulent 
demagogue, who, by laying claim to the gift of 
prophecy and immediate intercourse with heaven, 
sought to excite the people against their rulers, 

* Ginguene, vol. vii. p. 308, 313, 319. Shepherd's Life of Poggio 
Bracciolini, pp. 88, 428. 

t .... Venalia nobis 

Templa, sacerdotes, altaria, sacra, coronae, 
Ignes, thura, preces ; ccelum est venale, Deusque. 

Ite lares Italos, et fundamenta malorum, 
Romuleas arees et pontificalia tecta, 
Colluviem scelerum, &c. 

(Baptista Mantuanus, lib. iii. De Calam. Temp.) 
J M. Flacii Illyrici Testes Veritatis, p. 890. Henr. Hottingeri Hist. 
Eccl. Sec. xv. part. iv. p. 62. Wolfii Lect. Mernor. torn. i. p. 800. 


civil and ecclesiastical, and to gratify his own 
ambition, by humbling his superiors. In this light, 
his character has been drawn, not only by the in- 
terested advocates of the court of Rome, but also 
by the warm admirers of the house of Medici, 
whose attempts to establish their dominion over 
Florence he vigorously resisted.* It cannot be 
denied that the mind of Savonarola was strongly 
tinged with the superstition of the age in which he 
lived, while the fervour of his zeal for piety and 
liberty appears to have subjected him to the illu- 
sions of an over-heated imagination ; but on the 
other hand, the best and most enlightened men of 
that time bear unequivocal testimony to his sanctity, 
integrity, and patriotism, as well as to the irresisti- 
ble power of his eloquence. f Besides denouncing 
the tyranny of the court of Rome, and calling for 

* Roscoe's Lorenzo, vol. ii. p. 269, and Leo X. vol. i. p. 278. 

+ Marsilii Ficini Epistola?, lib. xii. f. 197. Joan. Fr. Pici Miran- 
dulse Opera, torn. ii. p. 40. Philip tie Comines, liv. iii. chap. v. 
Guicciardini, Istor. lib. iii. J. F. Picus, de Injusta Excommu- 
nicatione, Pro Hier. Savonarola? Innocentia ; apud Wolfii Lect. 
Memor. ii. 3S 48. Thomas Erastus published, in 1569, " Defensio 
Libelli Hieronymi Savonarola? de Astrologia Divinatrice, adversus 
Christ. Stratlnnionem." In 1674, Jaques Quetif published the 
letters of Savonarola, with a life of the author by Jo. Fr. Picus, 
illustrated with notes of his own. John Francis Buda?us, in his 
youth, published a dissertation unfavourable to the Florentine monk, 
of which he afterwards, with great candour, wrote a refutation. Both 
dissertations are printed in his Parerga Historico-Theologica, pp. 
280 398. Hala? Magd. 1703. Compare Schelhorn, Ergoetzlich- 
keiten aus der Kirchenhistorie und Litteratur, t. i. p. 198, &c. The 
modern writer who has given the most impartial account of Savona- 
rola is Sismondi. (Hist, des lle'p. Ital. tome xii. passi?n.) Specimens 
of his eloquence may be seen in Tiraboschi, Storia della Letteratura 
Italiana, torn. vi. pp. 11601162. 



a reform in the manners of the clergy, he has been 
represented as holding the doctrines afterwards 
taught by Luther, concerning justification, the com- 
munion under both kinds, indulgences, and human 
traditions ;* but the passages in his writings usually 
referred to, do not appear to me to support this alle- 
gation. The invectives of Savonarola were quench- 
ed by the flames in the year 1498 ; but this did not 
prevent others of his countrymen from reiterating 
those complaints against the corruption of the see 
of Rome, which were the true cause of his death. 

From the time of the council of Constance, a re- 
formation of the church, both in its head and mem- 
bers, had been loudly demanded. This demand was 
repeated, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
in the council which the pope was compelled to con- 
vocate ; as appears not only from the decrees which 
that assembly passed during its sitting at Pisa, but 
also from the orations delivered in it, after it was 
transferred to the Lateran and sat under the eye 
of the supreme pontiff. Among these, the most 
noted were the speeches of Egidio of Viterbo, ge- 
neral of the order of Augustinians, and John Fran- 
cis Pico, the learned and pious count of Mirandula, 
both of whom denounced, with singular freedom and 
boldness, the abuses which threatened the ruin of 
the church, and the utter extinction of religion, f 

" Flacius and Wolnus, ut supra. 

t The speech of Egidius is published by Gerdesius, Hist. Reform, 
torn. i. app. no. v. ; that of Picus, by Roscoe, in his Life of Leo X. 
vol. iii. app. no. cxlvi. See also Wolfii Lect. Memor. torn. i. pp. 


It would be unsuitable here to enter into a mi- 
nute detail of the ecclesiastical grievances which were 
the subject of such general complaint and remon- 
strance. Suffice it to say, that all of them existed 
in an aggravated form in Italy, if we except certain 
exactions levied by the popes on other countries 
from which she was exempted. The vices of the 
clergy, the neglect of religious instruction, the ig- 
norance of the people, the sale of ecclesiastical of- 
fices, and the prostitution of sacred things to worldly 
purposes, had grown to the greatest height among 
the Italians. The court of Rome had become more 
corrupt than any of the secular courts of Europe, 
by the confession of writers who owned its authori- 
ty, and of such as, from the official situations which 
they held in it, were admitted into all its secrets. 
The unprincipled and faithless character of its po- 
licy was proverbial. It was a system of intrigue, 
cabal and bribery ; and its ministers, while they 
agreed together in duping the world, made no 
scruple of deceiving and supplanting one another 
whenever their personal interests came to be con- 
cerned. The individuals who filled the papal chair 
for some time before the Reformation openly in- 
dulged in vices over which the increasing know- 
ledge of the age should have taught them in point 
of prudence to throw a veil. During the pontifi- 
cate of Sixtus IV. we are presented with the horrid 
spectacle of a supreme pontiff, a cardinal, an arch- 
bishop, and other ecclesiastics, associating them- 
selves with a band of ruffians to murder two men 



who were an honour to their age and country, and 
agreeing to perpetrate this crime during a season of 
hospitality, within the sanctuary of a Christian 
church, and at the signal of the elevation of the 
host. Alexander VI. was so notorious for his profli- 
gate manners and insatiable rapacity, that Sannazza- 
ro has compared him to the greatest monsters of an- 
tiquity to Nero, Caligula and Heliogabalus. Julius 
II. was more solicitous to signalize himself as a 
soldier than a bishop, and by his ambition and tur- 
bulence kept Italy in a state of continual warfare. 
And Leo X., though distinguished for his elegant 
accomplishments, and his patronage of literature 
and the arts, disgraced the ecclesiastical seat by his 
voluptuousness, and scandalized all Christendom 
by the profane methods of raising money to which 
he had recourse, for the purpose of gratifying his 
love of pleasure and his passion for magnificent 

To this rapid sketch I shall add the description 
of the papal court, drawn by the pen of an Italian 
who lived in the age of the Reformation, in whose 
writings we sometimes find the copiousness of Livy 
combined with the deep-toned indignation against 
tyranny which thrills our hearts in perusing the 
pages of Tacitus. The reader need not be told 
that the following passage was struck out by the 
censors of the press before the work was allowed to 
be published in Italy. " Having raised themselves 
to earthly power on this basis and by these methods, 
the popes gradually lost sight of the salvation of 


souls and divine precepts ; and bending their 
thoughts to worldly grandeur, and making use of 
their spiritual authority solely as an instrument 
and tool to advance their temporal, they began to 
lay aside the appearance of bishops, and assumed 
the state of secular princes. Their concern was no 
longer to maintain sanctity of life, no longer to pro- 
mote religion, no longer to show charity to man- 
kind ; but to raise armies, to wage wars against 
Christians, to perform the sacred mysteries with 
thoughts and hands stained with blood, to ac- 
cumulate treasures j and with the view of drawing 
money from every quarter, new edicts were issued, 
new arts invented, new stratagems laid, spiritual 
censures fulminated, and all things, sacred and 
profane, sold without distinction and without 
shame. The immense riches amassed in this way, 
and scattered among the courtiers, were followed 
by pomp, luxury, licentiousness, and the vilest and 
most abominable lusts. No care was taken to main- 
tain the dignity of the pontificate ; no thought be- 
stowed on those who should succeed to it : the 
reigning pope sought only how he might raise his 
sons, nephews, and other relations, not merely to 
immoderate wealth, but to principalities and king- 
doms ; and instead of conferring ecclesiastical dig- 
nities and emoluments on the virtuous and de- 
serving, he either sold them to the best bidder, or 
lavished them on those who promised to be most 
subservient to his ambition, avarice, and voluptu- 
ousness. Though these things had eradicated from 


the minds of men all that reverence which was once 
felt for the popes, yet was their authority still sus- 
tained to a certain degree by the imposing and po- 
tent influence of the name of religion, together with 
the opportunity which they had of gratifying princes 
and their courtiers, by bestowing on them dignities 
and other ecclesiastical favours. Presuming on the 
respect which men entertained for their office ; aware 
that such as took arms against them incurred general 
infamy, exposed themselves to the attack of other 
powers, and reaped little advantage in the issue ; 
and knowing that, if victorious, they could make 
their own terms, and, if vanquished, they would 
escape on easy conditions, they abandoned them- 
selves to their ruling passion of aggrandizing their 
friends, and proved for a long time the instruments 
of exciting wars, and spreading conflagrations over 
the whole of Italy."* 

On the other hand, the obstacles to ecclesiastical 
reform, and the reception of divine truth, were nu- 
merous and formidable in Italy. The Italians could 
not, indeed, be said to feel at this period a super- 
stitious devotion to the see of Rome. This did not 
originally form a discriminating feature of their na- 
tional character : it was superinduced ; and the 
formation of it can be distinctly traced to causes 
which produced their full effect subsequently to the 
era of the Reformation. The republics of Italy in 
the middle ages gave many proofs of religious in- 

Guicciardini Paralipomena, ex autographo Florentine) recensita, 
pp. 4048. Arastel. 1663. 


dependence, and singly braved the menaces and ex- 
communications of the Vatican at a time when all 
Europe trembled at the sound of its thunder. 
That quick-sighted and ingenious people had, at an 
early period, penetrated the mystery by which the 
emptiness of the papal claims was veiled, while the 
opportunity which they enjoyed of narrowly in- 
specting the lives of the popes, and the real motives 
by which they were actuated in the most imposing 
of their undertakings, had dissipated from their 
minds those sentiments of veneration and awe for 
the holy see which continued to be felt by such as 
viewed it from a distance. The consequence of this, 
under the corrupt form in which Christianity every- 
where presented itself, was the production of a spirit 
of indifference about religion, which, on the revival 
of learning, settled into scepticism, masked by an 
external respect to the established forms of the 
church. And in this state did matters remain un- 
til the middle of the sixteenth century, when, from 
causes which will be seen, superstition and igno- 
rance took the place of irreligion and infidelity, and 
the popes recovered that empire over the minds and 
consciences of their countrymen which they had al- 
most entirely lost. If there were few heretics in 
Italy, or if those who swerved from the received 
faith were less eagerly inquired after and punished 
there than in other countries, it was because the 
people did not give themselves the trouble to think 
on the subject. Generally speaking, devotion, even 
according to the principles authorized by the Ro- 


man church, was extinct among the Italians. They 
were not attached to the church either by a lively 
faith or an ardent enthusiasm, by the convictions 
of the understanding or the sentiments of the heart. 
The only religion of the statesmen was their secu- 
lar interest ; the learned felt more respect for Aris- 
totle or Plato, than for the sacred scriptures or the 
writings of the Christian fathers ; and the people, 
always under the influence of their senses and ima- 
gination, were attracted to the services of the 
church by the magnificence of its temples, and the 
splendour and gaiety of its religious festivals.* 

On a superficial view of the matter, we might be 
apt to think that a people who felt in the manner 
which has been described, might have been detached 
without much difficulty from their obedience to the 
church of Rome. But a little reflection will satisfy 
us, that none are more impervious to conviction, or 
less disposed to make sacrifices to it, than those who 
have sunk into indifference under the forms of reli- 
gion ; especially when we take into view the aliena- 
tion of the human mind from the spiritual and 
humbling discoveries of the gospel, as these were 
brought forward, simply and without disguise, in 
the preaching of the first reformers. Experience 
too, has shown, that men whose hearts were cold 
and dead to religion, have turned out as keen and 
bitter persecutors as the most superstitious and 
bigoted, when their peace has been threatened by 

" Sismondi, Hist, des Rep. Ital. tome viii. pp. 237 210. 


the progress, or their minds galled by the presenta- 
tion, of truths which they hated as well as disbe- 
lieved. But this is not all. The want of religious 
principle was, on the present occasion, supplied by 
national vanity, and a regard to interest ; two prin- 
ciples which had been at work for more than a 
century before the Reformation, in strengthening 
the attachment of the Italians to the Roman see. 
The removal of the papal court to Avignon had 
greatly diminished the wealth and importance of 
the city of Rome. After the return of the popes 
to their ancient seat, and the revival of the pon- 
tificate from the deadly wound inflicted on it by 
the schism of the anti-popes, the Romans congratu- 
lated themselves on the recovery of their former 
distinction. In this feeling their countrymen in 
general participated ; and, the passion for political 
liberty by which they had been animated having 
subsided, they seemed to think that the loss of the 
ancient glory which Italy once enjoyed as the mistress 
of the world was compensated by the flattering 
station to which she was now raised as the head of 
Christendom. When the councils of Pisa, Con- 
stance, and Basle, attacked the corruptions of the 
Roman court, and sought to abridge its extensive 
authority, the Italians were induced to come for- 
ward in its defence. They felt themselves dis- 
honoured as a nation by the invectives which the 
reformers of that age pronounced against the 
Italian vices of the pontiffs. And they saw that 
the reforms which were so eagerly pressed, would 


cut off or drain those pecuniary resources by which 
they hoped to be enriched. The popes were careful to 
foster this spirit. By a system of artful policy, the 
bishops of Rome had taken care, that the power 
which they had gradually acquired over all the na- 
tions of the west, should not be empty or unpro- 
ductive. The wealth of Europe continued to flow in 
various channels to Rome, from which it was distri- 
buted through Italy. Under the name of annats, the 
pope received the first year's produce of all ecclesi- 
astical livings after every vacancy. He drew large 
sums of money for the confirmation of bishops, and 
for the gift of palls. His demands on the clergy 
for benevolences were frequent, besides the extraor- 
dinary levy of the tenths of benefices, on pretence 
of expeditions against the Turks which were sel- 
dom undertaken. Add to these the sums exacted 
for dispensations, absolutions, and indulgences, with 
the constant and incalculable revenue arising from 
law-suits, brought from every country by appeal to 
Rome, carried on there at great expense, and pro- 
tracted to an indefinite length of time. The pope 
had also an extensive right of patronage in every 
country to which his authority reached. He pre- 
sented to all benefices which came under the name 
of reserved, and to those vacant by translation, or 
by the death of persons who died at Rome or within 
forty miles of it, on their journey to or from that 
city. * These, if not sold to the highest bidder, 

* Robertson's Charles V. vol. ii. pp. 148 150, 273. Llorente, 
Hist, de requisition d'Espagne, i. 239256. Rymer's Feeders, vols. x. 


were generally conferred on Italians, upon whom 
the pope could rely with more implicit confidence 
than on foreigners, for extending his authority, or 
supporting him in those contests in which his 
ambition often involved him with the secular 
powers. In consequence of the influence which the 
court of Rome had come to exert in the political af- 
fairs of Europe during the fifteenth century, almost 
every sovereign strove to procure for his near rela- 
tions, or at least for some of his subjects, seats in 
the sacred college ; and this was usually purchased 
by the gift of the richest benefices within his king- 
dom, to those who, from their situation or connex- 
ions, had it most in their power to serve his inter- 
ests. There was not an Italian state or town which 
did not, on these accounts, depend on the papal 
court ; nor a prince or great family which had not 
some of its relations in offices connected with it. 
The greater part of the learned either held benefices, 
or enjoyed pensions which they drew from them. 
Italy was a land of priests. Though the states of 
the church, properly so called, even after they had 
been enlarged by the warlike Julius, were confined 
within narrow bounds ; yet the pontiffs had taken 
care to preserve their paramount power over those 
districts or cities which withdrew from their go- 
vernment, by transferring the power over them to 
particular families, under the title of vicars of the 

and xi. Appellatio Univers. Paris. ; apud Richer. Hist. Concil. Gen. 
lib. iv. p. ii. cap. iv. 15. Georgii Gravamina, pp. 363, .522. Kappe, 
Nachlese Ref. Urkunden, P. ii. pp. 399, 4-35, P. iii. pp. 216350. 


church. Indeed there were few places in Italy to 
which they had not at one time or another advanced 
a claim founded on ancient grants or endowments ;* 
and provided any prince had testified a disposition to 
withdraw his allegiance from the see of Rome, it 
would have been easy for the pope to revive his 
ancient claim, and having launched the sentence of 
excommunication, to add the forfeited possessions 
to the patrimony of the church, or to bestow them 
on some neighbouring rival of the rebellious 
heretic, f 

When these things are taken into consideration, 
it will be matter of surprise, that the reformed 
doctrine made so much progress in Italy as we shall 
find it to have made ; and we are able to account for 
the mistake into which some writers, guided by 
theory rather than fact, have fallen, when they 
assert that it had few or no converts in that coun- 
try, t 

* Franc. Guicciardini Paralipomena : Discorso levato del tutto via 
dell'historia nel quarto libro, pp. 35 42, 44. 

t So late as the year 1555, the pope, Paul IV. not only excom- 
municated Marco Antonio Colonna, and deprived him of the dukedom 
of Palieno, but ordered a legal process to be commenced in the aposto- 
lical chamber, against Philip II. king of Naples, as a schismatic and 
favourer of heresy, inferring, if proved, that he should be deprived of 
the crown of the two Sicilies, as a fief of the Holy See; and sentence 
would have been pronounced against him, had not the Duke of Alva 
advanced with his troops from Naples to Rome. (Llorente, ii. 

X " Peu de personnes prirent le parti de Luther en Italic Ce 
peuple inge'nieux occupe' d'intrigues et de plaisirs n'eut aucun part a 
ces troubles." (Voltaire, Essai sur les Mceurs, chap, cxxviii.) Vol- 
taire is not the only author who has committed this error. 




A controversy, which had been carried on for 
several years with great warmth in Germany, and 
which was at last brought before the papal court 
for decision, deserves notice here, as having contri- 
buted, in no small degree, to direct the attention of 
the Italians, at an early period, to the reformed 
opinions. A monk of Cologne, a convert from Ju- 
daism, either from hostility to learning, or with the 
view of extorting money from his countrymen, ob- 
tained a decree from the imperial chamber, ordain- 
ing all Jewish books, with the exception of the Bi- 
ble, to be committed to the flames, as filled with 
blasphemies against Christ. John Reuchlin, or Cap- 
nio, a learned man of Suabia, and the restorer of 
Hebrew literature among Christians, exerted him- 
self, both privately and from the press, to prevent 
the execution of this barbarous decree. His suc- 
cessful opposition exposed him to the resentment of 
the monks, and sentence was pronounced against 
him, first by the divines of Cologne, and afterwards 


by the Sorbonne at Paris. Reuchlin appealed to 
Rome, and the friends of learning determined to 
make his cause a common one. Erasmus and other 
distinguished individuals wrote warmly in his fa- 
vour to their friends at Rome, of whom they had 
some in the sacred college. The monks exerted 
themselves with equal zeal to defeat a party which 
they had long hated, and from whom they had much 
to dread. No cause of the kind had, for a long 
time, excited such general interest. On the one side 
were ranked the monks, the most devoted clients of 
the papal throne ; on the other, the men who had 
attracted the admiration of Europe by their talents 
and writings. The court of Rome was averse to 
offend either side, and by means of those arts which 
it knew so well how to employ in delicate cases, 
protracted the affair from time to time. During 
this interval, the monks and their supporters were 
subjected to the lash of the most cutting satires ; * 
and the ultimate sentence, enjoining silence on both 
parties, was scarcely ratified, when the controversy 
between Luther and the preachers of indulgences 
arose, and was brought before the same tribunal 
for decision. f 

The noise excited by the late process had fixed 
the attention of the Italians on Germany ; the facts 
which it brought to light abated the contempt with 

* Of these the most celebrated was the work entitled, Epistola* 
Obscurorum Virorum, the joint production of several learned men. 

t Maii Vita Reuchlini, passim. Schlegel, Vita Georgii Spalatini, 
pp. 24, 25. Sleidani Comment, torn. i. pp. 105 109, edit. Am Ende. 
Bulsei Hist. Univ. Paris, torn. vi. pp. 47 57. 


which they had hitherto regarded the inhabitants 
of that country ; Luther had taken part with Reuch- 
]in ;* and some of the keenest and most intrepid de- 
fenders of the latter, such as Ulric Hutten, declared 
at an early period in favour of the religious opinions 
of the former. 

It was not to be expected that a dispute managed 
by a friar, in an obscure corner of Germany, against 
the sale of indulgences, a traffic which had long 
been carried on under the auspices and for the profit 
of the see of Rome, would at first attract much atten- 
tion in Italy. Rut the boldness of his own mind, and 
the provoking impudence of his antagonists, having 
led Luther to persevere in his opposition, and gra- 
dually to extend his censure to other abuses, his 
name and opinions soon became the topic of ge- 
neral conversation without the limits of his native 
country. Two years from the time of his first ap- 
pearance against indulgences had not elapsed, until 
his writings found their way into Italy, where they 
met with a favourable reception from the learned. 
It must have been highly gratifying to the Reformer 
to receive the following information, in a letter ad- 
dressed to him by John Froben, a celebrated printer 
at Basle. " Blasius Salmonius, a bookseller of Leipsic, 
presented me, at the last Frankfort fair, with several 

* Luther declares himself decidedly in favour of Reuchlin, in a 
letter to Spalatin, written in 1514, according to Aurifaber, (Epist. 
Luth. torn. i. p. 8.) but as early as 1510, according to Walch. (Lu- 
thers Saemtliche Schriften, torn. xxi. pp. 518521.) A letter from 
him to Reuchlin is to be found in Illustrium Virorum Epistola? ad 
Joanncm Reuchlin : Liber Secundus, Hagenoa?, 1519; sig. C 3. 


treatises composed by you, which being approved by 
all learned men, I immediately put to the press, and 
sent six hundred copies to France and Spain. They 
are sold at Paris, and read and approved of even by 
the Sorbonists, as my friends have assured me. Se- 
veral learned men there have said, that they of a 
long time have wished to see such freedom in those 
who treat divine things. Calvus also, a bookseller of 
Pavia,* a learned man, and addicted to the muses, has 
carried a great part of the impression into Italy. 
He promises to send epigrams written in praise of 
you by all the learned in Italy ;f such favour have 
you gained to yourself and the cause of Christ by 
your constancy, courage and dexterity.":): A letter 
has also been preserved, written about this time by 
an individual in Rome, and applauding the spirit 

" The person referred to in the text was Francesco Calvi, often 
mentioned in the letters of Erasmus, and highly praised by Andrea 
Alciati, the civilian, and other learned men. (Tiraboschi, vii. 365.) 
Speaking of the difficulty of disposing of books in Italy, Caelio Cal- 
cagnini says, in a letter dated from Ferrara, "17 kal. Febr. 1525 ;" 
" Unus fuit Calvus, ejus Calvi frater qui rem imprcssoriam curat 
Rom sp, qui non pecuniam sed libroruin permutationem obtulit." (Cal- 
cagnini Opera, p. 115.) 

t Schelhorn (Amcenit. Hist. Eccles. et Liter, torn. ii. p. 624) has 
published a copy of verses in praise of Luther, composed at Milan in 
1521, which conclude thus: 

Macte igitur virtute, pater celebrande Luthere, 

Communis cujus pendet ab ore salus : 
Gratia cui ablatis debetur maxima monstris, 
Alcidfe potuit qua? metuisse manus. 
Miscellanea Groningana, torn. iii. pp. 61 63. Froben's letter 
is dated " Basilese d. 14. Februar. 1519." A letter to the same purpose 
by Wolfgangus Fabricius Capito, dated 12. kal. Martii, 1519," is 
inserted in Sculteti Annal. Reform, p. 44. 


and writings of Luther.* Burchard Schenk, a Ger- 
man nobleman who had embraced a monastic life, 
and resided at Venice, writes on the 19th of Sep- 
tember, 1520! to Spalatinus, chaplain to the elector 
of Saxony : " According to your request, I have 
read the books of Martin Luther, and I can assure 
you that he has been much esteemed in this place for 
some time past. But, the common saying is, ' Let him 
beware of the pope !' Upwards of two months ago ten 
copies of his books were brought here and instantly 
purchased, before I had heard of them ; but in the 
beginning of this month, a mandate from the pope 
and the patriarch of Venice arrived, prohibiting 
them ; and a strict search being instituted among 
the booksellers, one imperfect copy was found and 
seized. I had endeavoured to obtain that copy, but 
the bookseller durst not dispose of it."f In a letter 
written during the following year, the same person 
states that the senate of Venice had at last reluc- 
tantly consented to the publication of the papal bull 
against Luther, but had taken care that it should not 
be read until the people had left the church. Two 
circumstances of a curious kind appear from this cor- 
respondence. The one is that Schenk had a commission 
from the elector of Saxony to purchase relics for the 
collegiate church of Wittemberg ; but soon after the 
period referred to, that commission was revoked and 

* Riederer, Nachrichteu fur Kirchengelehrten unci Biicherge- 
schichte, torn. i. p. 179. 

t Seckendorf. Hist. Lutheranismi, torn. i. p. 115. 
X Ibid. p. 11G. 



the relics sent back to Italy to be sold at what price 
they would bring ; " for, (writes Spalatinns) here 
even the common people so despise them, as to think 
it sufficient, as it certainly is, if they be taught from 
scripture to have faith and confidence in God, and 
love to their neighbour."* The other fact is, that 
the person employed by Schenk to collect relics for 
the elector was Vergerio, afterwards bishop of Capo 
d'Istria, and legate from the pope to the German 
princes, but who subsequently renounced popery, 
and became zealously instrumental in spreading the 
reformed doctrine in Italy and elsewhere. The cha- 
racter given of him at this early period of his life 
is worthy of notice, as the popish writers, after his 
defection, endeavoured in every possible way to dis- 
credit his authority and tarnish his reputation. 
Schenk describes him as " a most excellent young 
man, who had distinguished himself among the stu- 
dents of law at Padna, and was desirous of finishing 
his studies at Wittemberg, under the auspices and 
patronage of the elector Frederic." f 

In spite of the terror of pontifical bulls, and the 
activity of those who watched over their execution, 
the writings of Luther and Melanchthon, Zningleand 
Bncer, continued to be circulated, and read with great 
avidity and delight, in all parts of Italy. Some of 
them were translated into the Italian language, 
and, to elude the vigilance of the inquisitors, were 
published under disguised or fictitious names, by 

* Schlegel, Vita Spalatini, p. 59. Scckend. torn. i. p. 223. 
+ Seckend. ut supra. 


which means they made their way into Rome, 
and even into the palace of the Vatican ; so that 
bishops and cardinals sometimes unwittingly read 
and praised works, which, on discovering their real 
authors, they were obliged to pronounce dangerous 
and heretical. The elder Scaliger relates an incident 
of this kind, which happened when he was at Rome. 
" Cardinal Seraphin, (says he) who was at that time 
counsellor of the papal Rota, came to me one day, and 
said, ' We have had a most laughable business before 
us to-day. The Common Places of Philip Melanchthon 
were printed at Venice with this title, par Messer 
Ippofilo da Terra JVegra* These Common Places 
being sent to Rome, were freely bought for the 
space of a whole year, and read with great applause ; 
so that the copies being exhausted, an order was 
sent to Venice for a fresh supply. But in the 
mean time a Franciscan friar, who possessed a 
copy of the original edition, discovered the trick, and 
denounced the book as a Lutheran production from 
the pen of Melanchthon. It was proposed to punish 
the poor printer, who probably could not read one 
word of the book, but at last it was agreed to burn 
the copies, and suppress the whole affair.' "j A 
similar anecdote is told of Luther's preface to the 

* Schwartzerd, which was his original name, signifies in German, as 
Melanchthon docs in Greek, and Terra Negra in Italian, black earth. 
The Italian translator of the Common Places is supposed to have 
been the celebrated critic, Ludovico Castelvetro. (Fontanini, Delia 
Eloquenza ltaliana, pp. 490 509.) 

+ Scaligerana Secunda, art. Rota. See also Brucker, MisceL 
Hist. &c. P. ii. pp. 323, 333. 


epistle to the Romans, and his treatise on justifica- 
tion, which were eagerly read for some time as the 
productions of cardinal Fregoso.* The works of 
Zuingle were circulated under the name of Coricius 
Cogelius ;f and several editions of Martin Bucer's 
commentary on the Psalms were sold in Italy and 
France as the work of Aretius Felinus. In this 
last instance, the stratagem was used with the con- 
sent of the author. " I am employed (says Bucer, 
in a letter to Zuingle) in an exposition of the 
Psalms, which, at the urgent request of our brethren 
in France and Lower Germany, I propose to pub- 
lish under a foreign name, that the work may be 
bought by their booksellers. For it is a capital 
crime to import into these countries books which 
bear our names. I therefore pretend that I am a 
Frenchman, and, if I do not change my mind, will 
send forth the book as the production of Aretius 
Felinus, which, indeed, is my name and surname, 
the former in Greek, and the latter in Latin."+ 
It is one thing to discover the errors and abuses of 
the church of Rome, and it is another, and a very 

* Vergerii Adnot. in Catal. Haeret. Romie, 1559. 

t Gerdesii Ital. Ref. pp. 12 14. Zuingliusis introduced under the 
name of Ahydenus Corallus in the Index of Rome for 1559. 

* Le Long, edit. Masch, vol. iii. p. ii. p. 520. Colomesii Notae in 
Scaliger. Secund. p. 538. Fontanini, Delia Eloquenza Ital. p. 490. 
The work was printed first at Strasburg in 1529, under this title: 
' Psalmorum Libri quinque ad Ebraicam veritatem versi, et familiari 
explanatione elucidati. Per Aretium Felinum Theologum." The 
dedication to the Dauphin of France is dated, " Lugduni iii. Idus 
Julias Anno m.d.xxix." 


different thing, to have the mind opened to perceive 
the spiritual glory and feel the regenerating in- 
fluence of divine truth. Many who could easily 
discern the former, remained complete strangers to 
the latter, as preached by Luther and his associates ; 
and it is not to be expected that these would make 
sacrifices, and still less that they would count 
all things loss, for the excellent knowledge of Christ. 
Persons of this character abounded at this period in 
Italy. But the following extracts show that many 
of the Italians " received the love of the truth," 
and they paint in strong colours the ardent thirst 
for an increase of knowledge, which the perusal of 
the first writings of the reformers had excited in 
their breasts. ** It is now fourteen years (writes 
Egidio a Porta, an Augustinian monk on the Lake 
of Como, to Zuingle) since I, under the impulse of a 
certain pious feeling, but not according to knowledge, 
withdrew from my parents, and assumed the black 
cowl. If I did not become learned and devout, I 
at least appeared to be so, and for seven years dis- 
charged the office of a preacher of God's word, alas ! 
in deep ignorance. I savoured not the things of 
Christ ; I ascribed nothing to faith, all to works. 
But God would not permit his servant to perish 
for ever. He brought me to the dust. I cried. 
Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? At length 
my heart heard the delightful voice, ' Go to Ulric 
Zuingle, and he will tell thee what thou shouldst 
do.' O ravishing sound ! my soul found ineffable 
peace in that sound. Do not think that I mock 


you ; for you, nay not you, but God by your means, 
rescued me from the snare of the fowler. But why do 
I say me ? For I trust you have saved others along 
with me." * The meaning of Egidio is, that, having 
been enlightened by the writings of the Swiss reform- 
er which providence had thrown in his way, he had 
imparted the knowledge of the truth to some of his 
brethren of the same convent. In another letter 
he adjures Zuingle to write him a letter which 
might be useful for opening the eyes of others be- 
longing to his religious order. " But let it be cau- 
tiously written, (continues he) for they are full of 
pride and self-conceit. Place some passages of 
scripture before them, by which they may perceive 
how much God is pleased at having his word 
preached purely and without mixture, and how 
highly he is offended with those who adulterate it 
and bring forward their own opinions as divine."f 
The same spirit breathes in a letter addressed by 
Balthasar Fontana, a Carmelite monk of Locarno, 
to the evangelical churches of Switzerland. " Hail, 
ye faithful in Christ. Think, oh think, of Lazarus 
in the gospels, and of the lowly woman of Canaan, 
who was willing to be satisfied with the crumbs which 
fell from the table of the Lord. As David came to 
the priest in a servile dress and unarmed, so do I 
fly to you for the shew-bread and the armour laid 

Epistola iEgidii a Porta, Comensis, Dec. 9, 1525; apud Hottin- 
ger, Hist. Eccl. Sec. xvi. torn. ii. p. 611. 
-) Ibid. p. 16. 


up in the sanctuary. Parched with thirst I seek 
to the fountains of living water : sitting like a blind 
man by the wayside, I cry to him that gives 
sight. With tears and sighs we who sit here in 
darkness, humbly intreat you who are acquainted 
with the titles and authors of the books of know- 
lege, (for to you it is given to know the mysteries 
of the kingdom of God) to send us the writings of 
such elect teachers as you possess, and particularly 
the works of the divine Zuinglius, the far-celebrated 
Luther, the acute Melanchthon, the accurate Eco- 
lampade. The prices will be paid to you through 
his excellency, Werdmyller. Do your endeavour 
that a city of Lombardy, enslaved by Babylon, and 
a stranger to the gospel of Christ, may be set free."* 
The attention which had been paid to sacred li- 
terature in Italy, contributed in no small degree to 
the spread of the reformed opinions. In this as 
well as in every other literary pursuit, the Italians 
at first took the lead, though they were afterwards 
outstripped by the Germans. From the year 1477, 
when the psalter appeared in Hebrew, different parts 
of scripture in the original continued to issue from 
the press ; and in the year 1488, a complete He- 
brew bible was printed at Soncino, a city of the 
Cremonese, by a family of Jews, who, under the 
adopted name of Soncinati, established printing* 

* " Apud Comum, 15th December, 1j26." Another letter from 
the same individual, dated " Ex Locarno Kal. Mart, anno 1.531," is 
published by Hottinger, Hist. torn. vi. par. ii. pp. <il8, 620, 271. 
Tcmpc Helvetica, torn. iv. p. 1 11. 


presses in various parts of Europe, including Con- 
stantinople. This department of typography was 
almost entirely engrossed by the Jews in Italy, un- 
til the year 1518, when an edition of the Hebrew 
scriptures, accompanied with various readings, and 
Rabbinical commentaries, proceeded from the splen- 
did press which Daniel Bomberg had recently 
erected at Venice. * 

A minute investigation of the remaining docu- 
ments of those times, shows that the knowledge of 
Hebrew was not quite extinct among Christians in 
Italy, anterior to the revival of letters. An individual 
now and then had the curiosity to acquire some in- 
sight into it from a Jew, or had the courage to grapple, 
m his own strength, with the difficulties of a lan- 
guage whose very characters wore a formidable as- 
pect; and individuals, who, like Fra Ricoldo of Flo- 
rence, and Ciriaco of Ancona, travelled into Turkey, 
Syria, and adjacent countries, picked up some ac- 
quaintance with other languages of the east. In the 
literary history of Italy, during the early part of the 
fifteenth century, several persons are spoken of as 
Hebrew and Arabic scholars ; the most distinguish- 
ed of whom was Giannozzo Manetti, a Florentine, 
who drew up a triglot psalter, containing a Latin 
translation made by himself from the original. f 

* De Rossi, De Heb. Typogr. Origin. Wilbelin Fried. Hctzels Ge- 
schichteder Hcbraischen Spracbe und Litteratur, pp. 143 176. Le 
Long, Bibl. Sac. edit. Masch, vol. i. par. i. Baueri Crit. Sac. pp. 
230, 232. 

t Tiraboscbi, Storia della Lctteratura Italiana. torn. vi. pp. 792, 


But the study of Hebrew in Italy, properly speaking, 
was coeval with the printing of the Hebrew scrip- 
tures ; and it was facilitated by the severe measures 
taken by Ferdinand and Isabella, at the instigation 
of the inquisitors, against the Jews, which induced 
many of that people to emigrate from Spain to Italy, 
where, from lucrative motives, they were favourably 
received, by the popes.* John Pico, count of Miran- 
dula and Concordia, was one of the first students of 
the oriental tongues among his countrymen. Of 
the enthusiasm with which this prodigy of learning 
applied himself to the study of Hebrew, Chaldaic, 
and Arabic, his letters afford the most satisfactory 
evidence ; f and judging from his writings, the pro- 
ficiency which he made in the first of these languages 
was considerable.^: The names of the persons from 
whom he received lessons were Jochana and Mith- 
ridates ; the last of whom refused to teach him 
Chaldee, until he took a formal oath that he would 
not communicate it to any person. $ This enthu- 
siastic scholar was deceived by some of the Jews 
who frequented his house, and had certain manu- 
scripts, probably Rabbinical, palmed upon him as the 

* Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, liv. vii. chap. xxix. sect. iv. vii. 
Sadoleti Epist. lib. xii. pp. 5, 6. Llorente, Hist, de l'lnquisition 
d'Espagne, tome i. pp. 161 170. 

f Opera Joannis et Jo. Francisci Pici, torn. i. pp. 3<>7-8, 382, 385, 
387, 388. 

.{. See his Heptaplus, dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici ; Opera, 
torn. i. 

Opera, torn. i. p. 38.5; torn. ii. p. 1371. Colomesii Italia et His- 
pania Orientalis, pp. 10 17. 


genuine works of Zoroaster, and other eastern sages.* 
The same thing happened to his contemporary and 
countryman, Nanni or Annius of Viterbo, who pub- 
lished a number of fabulous works as the authentic 
productions of Berosus, Manetho, Fabius Pictor, 
Archilochus, Cato, and Megasthenes ; at least it 
seems more probable that he was the dupe of others 
and of his own credulity, than that he should have 
practised a fraud, which must have cost him im- 
mense labour, and required a knowledge of the 
learning of the east, which we can scarcely suppose 
a European of that age to have possessed.! John 
Francis Pico inherited his uncle's taste for He- 
brew literature, and other scholars arose who cul- 
tivated it, not indeed with greater zeal, but certainly 
with greater success. 

Germany had the honour of giving to the world 
the first elementary work on Hebrew which was 
written by a Christian, or in the Latin language, 
in the grammar and lexicon of John Reuchlin, print- 
ed at Pfortzheim, in the year 1506 ; but as early 
as 1490, the Book of Roots, or lexicon of the cele- 
brated Jewish grammarian, David Kimchi, was 
published in the original at Venice. \ Francis Stan- 
car of Mantua, who afterwards embraced the pro- 
testant religion, and excited great stirs in Poland, 

* Opera, torn . i. p. 367. Simon, Lcttres Choisies, tome ii. p. 1H8. 

t Tiraboschi, torn. vi. par. ii. p. 17. 

+ Hirts Orieiitalische uml Excgetische Bibliothek, torn. i. pp. 3.5, 

1 1. G. Laur. Baueri Hcrmcneutica Sacra, p. 175. 


published a Hebrew grammar in 1525.* Felix of 
Prato, a converted Jew, who published a Latin 
translation of the Psalms in 1515, appears to have 
been the first Christian in Italv who taught He- 
brew, being invited to Rome for this purpose in 
1518, by Leo X.f About the same time Agathias 
Guidacerio, a native of Catano, also taught it at 
Rome, from which he was called by Francis I. to be 
professor of Hebrew in the Trilingual college at 
Paris, in which Paolo Paradisi, or Canossa, his coun- 
tryman, and, like him, the author of a work on He- 
brew grammar, afterwards held the same situation.^: 
As early as 1514, a collection of prayers was 
printed in the Arabic language and character at 
Fano, in the ecclesiastical states, at a press which 
had been founded by the warlike pontiff Julius II. 
Previous to this, an edition of the Koran in the ori- 
ginal language had been begun, and a part of it at 
least printed at Venice, by Pagnino de Pagninis.|| 
But the principal work in this language, so far as 
biblical literature is concerned, was published by 
Augustine Justinian, bishop of Nebio in Corsica, 

* Tiraboschi, torn. vii. p. 1087. Hetzels Geschichte der Heb. 
Sprache, p. 169. 

f Ibid. p. 1083. Colomesii Ital. Orient, p. 19. Le Long, edit. 
Masch, vol. i. part i. p. 97. vol. ii. part ii. p. 534. 

X Prefat. in Lib. Michlol, per Agathiam Guidacerium. Parisiis 
in Collegio Italoruin, 1540. Conf. Colomesii Ital. Orient, pp. 60, 

Schnmreri Bibliotheca Arabica, pp. 231231. 

|| Ibid. pp. 402401. 


in a polyglot psalter, containing- the Hebrew, Chal- 
daic, Arabic, Greek and Latin ; printed at Genoa 
in the year 1516, and intended as a specimen of a 
polyglot bible, which the author had been long en- 
gaged in preparing for the press.* This work pro- 
cured him an invitation from Francis I. to teach the 
oriental tongues at Paris. f Juan Leon, a native of 
Elvira in Spain, better known as an historian by the 
name of Leo Africanus, and who afterwards went 
to Tunis, and relapsed to Mahometanism, instruct- 
ed many of the Italians in Arabic; and, amongothers, 
Egidio of Viterbo, a prelate more distinguished by 
his elegant taste and extensive learning, than by his 
wearing the purple, and who promoted oriental 
studies among his countrymen both by his example 
and his patronage.^ 

Certain deputies sent to Rome, from the Christi- 
ans of Abyssinia, during the sitting of the Lateran 
council in 1512, were the means of introducing into 
Europe the knowledge of the Ethiopic, or, as they 
called it, Chaldean language, in which their coun- 
trymen continued to perform the religious service. 
In consequence of instructions received from them, 

* Dedic. JuFtiniani ad Leonem X. Le Long, edit. Masch, vol. i. 
par. i. p. 400. 

t Tiraboschi, vii. 1067. Colomesii Ital. Orient. 3136. Sixt. Se- 
nensis Bibl. Sacr. p. 327. 

X Widmanstadter's Dedication to the Emperor Ferdinand, of his 
edition of the Syriac New Testament. Compare the testimonies to 
Kgidio's merits collected by Colomies. (Ital. Orient, pp. 4146.) 


John Potken, provost of St. George's, at Cologne, 
was able in 1513, to publish at Rome, the psalter 
and song of Solomon in Ethiopia, with a short in- 
troduction to that language.* At a subsequent pe- 
riod, a learned abbot of that country, named Tesso- 
Sionis Malhesini, or, as he called himself in Europe, 
Peter Sionita, who resided at Rome under the pa- 
tronage of cardinal Marcello Cervini, prevailed on 
Pierpaolo Gualtieri, and Mariano Vittorio, after- 
wards bishop of Rieti, to learn his native tongue ; 
and with their assistance, and that of two of his 
own countrymen, he published the New Testament 
in Ethiopic at Rome, in the year 1548. Four years 
after this, the first grammar of that language was 
given to the public by Vittorio.f 

It may appear strange, that no part of the Syriac 
version of the scriptures should as yet have come 
from the press. Romberg intended to print the 
gospel according to Matthew, from a copy of the 
four gospels in that language which was in his 
possession, but delayed the work in expectation of 
obtaining additional manuscripts.^ Teseo Ambro- 
gio, of the noble family of the Conti d'Albonese, 
a doctor of laws, and canon regular of St. John's of 

* Le Long, edit. Masch, vol. i. par. ii. pp. 146-7. 

f Tiraboschi, vii. 1073. Le Long, edit. Masch, vol. i. par. ii. pp.152 
154. Colomesii Ital. Orient, pp. 107-8. art. Marianus Victorius Re- 
atinus. Michaelis's Introd. by Marsh, vol. ii. part i. p. 612. 

% Postel, Linguarum duodecim Alph. Introd. sig. Biiij- Parish's, 
1538. Conf. Postelli Epist. prefix. Vers. N. Test. Syriaci : Vien. Austr 


the Lateran, received instructions in Ethiopic, from 
the Abyssinians who visited Rome in 1512, and 
was initiated into the Syriac language, by one of 
three individuals, Joseph Acurio, a priest, Moses, a 
deacon, and Elias a sub-deacon, whom Peter, patri- 
arch of the Maronites, had sent as a deputation to 
Rome, soon after the advancement of Leo X. to the 
pontificate. From that time, Ambrogio became 
passionately fond of these languages, and being ap- 
pointed to teach them at Bologna, gave a specimen 
of his qualifications for that task in his Introduction 
to the Chaldaic, Syriac, Armenian, and ten other 
languages, with the characters of about forty differ- 
ent alphabets.* Various untoward events prevent- 
ed him from executing his favourite design of pub- 
lishing the gospels in Syriac, which, at an acci- 
dental interview, he devolved on Albert Widman- 
stadter, the learned chancellor of Easter Austria, 
who afterwards accomplished the work. In the 
year 1552, Ignatius, patriarch of Antioch, sent 
Moses Mardineus, as his orator to the Roman 
pontiff, to obtain, among other things, the printing 
of an edition of the Syriac New Testament, for the 
use of the churches under his inspection. The ora- 
tor exerted his eloquence in vain at Rome, Venice ? 
and other places of Italy ; and, after wasting nearly 
three years, was about to return home in despair, 

* Introductio in Chaldaicam linguam, Syriacam, cJvc. Papist, 1539. 
Tiraboschi, vii. 1068 1072. Hcnr. a Porta, (Prof. Lingnarum Ori- 
ental, apud Acad. Ticin.) De Ling. Orient. Prsestantia, p. 189. 


when he was advised to apply to Widmanstadter 
by whose zealous exertions the work was published 
in 1555, at Vienna.* Thus was Italy deprived of 
the honour of giving to the world the New Tes- 
tament in the best and most venerable of all the 
ancient versions. 

The first edition of the Septuagint came from the 
Aldine press in 1518, under the direction of Andrew 
of Asolo. In 1516, Erasmus published at Basil 
his edition of the Greek text of the New Testament, 
accompanied with a Latin translation formed by him - 
self; to which his fame gave an extensive currency 
in Italy. And in 1527, Sante Pagnini of Lucca 
published his Latin translation of the whole Bible, 
which had excited great expectations, from the re- 
putation which the author enjoyed as a Hebrew 
scholar, and its being known that he had spent up- 
wards of twenty-five years on the work. 

The publication of the scriptures in the original 
languages, and in various versions, was followed by 
illustrations of them which were neither without 
merit nor utility. The work of Pietro Colonna, 
commonly called, from his native place, Galatino, 
from which later writers on the Jewish controversy 
have drawn so much of their materials, was not 
the less useful, that it was afterwards found to be 
chiefly a compilation from the work of another au- 

* Dedic. et Pracfat. in N. Test. Syriac. Vien. Austr. 1555. Assemani 
Bibl. Orient, torn. i. p. 535. Le Long, edit. Masch, vol. i. par. ii. pp. 
71 79. Michaelis's Introd. by Marsh, vol. ii. p. ii. 8,535 540 


thor.* Besides his own paraphrases, Erasmus 
published the notes of Laurentius Valla on the 
New Testament, which came recommended to the 
Italians as the work of one of their countrymen 
who had distinguished himself as a reviver of let- 
ters, but whom Bellarmine afterwards called, not 
without reason, the precursor of the Lutherans, f 
The scriptural simplicity which characterises the 
commentaries of cardinal Cajetan, and a few others, 
form a striking contrast to the writings of the 
scholastic divines who preceded them. Cardinal 
Sadolet's commentary on the epistle to the Ro- 
mans was the work of an orator, who wished to 
correct the barbarisms of the vulgate, and combat 
the tenets of St. Augustine. | The works of Au- 
gustine Steuchi, or Steuco, of Gubbio, discover an 
extensive acquaintance with the three learned lan- 
guages, mixed with cabbalistical and Platonic ideas. 
I shall afterwards have occasion to speak of the 
commentaries of Folengo. Isidoro Clario, a Bene- 
dictine abbot of Monte Cassino, who was ad- 
vanced to the bishopric of Foligno, published the 
vulgate, corrected from the original Hebrew, and 

* De Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis, Ortona?, 1518. See the account 
of the Ptigio Fidci of Raymond Martini, afterwards given in the 
history of the Reformation in Spain. 

t Simon, Hist. Crit. des Oommentateurs du N. Test. pp. 484 

+ Ibid. pp. .550 556. Sadolet was thrown into great distress, in 
consequence of the Master of the sacred palace refusing to approve of 
bis commentary. (Tiraboschi, Storia, torn. vii. pp. 313 315.) 


Greek, and accompanied with preliminary disserta- 
tions and explanatory notes ; but the work did not 
appear until 1542, when the progress of heresy 
had alarmed his brethren, the consequence of which 
was, that the work underwent the process of ex- 
purgation, and the prolegomena were suppressed. * 
He gave great offence by saying in his preface, that 
he had diligently corrected the version of the Old 
Testament by the Hebrew, and of the New by the 
Greek verity, f The author had also availed him- 
self of the notes of the protestants, but tacitly; " for 
in the time in which he wrote, to cite a protestant 
author was an unpardonable crime," as Tiraboschi 
has candidly owned. " Heresy (says another modern 
writer) was a pest, the very touch of which creat- 
ed horror ; the cordon of separation or precaution 
was drawn all around ; Clario did not dread the 
contagion for himself, but he dreaded to appear to 
have braved it, and his prudence excuses his pla- 
giarism." I 

By means of these studies the minds of the learned 
in Italy were turned to the scriptures, and prepared 
for taking part in the religious controversy which 
arose. Individuals in the conclave, such as Egidio, 
Freo-oso and Aleander, were skilled in the sacred 
tongues, which were now studied in the palaces of 
bishops and in the cells of monks. All were not 
concerned to become acquainted with the treasures 

* Riveti Opera, torn. ii. p. 916. t Tiraboschi, torn, vii. p. 348. 

X Ginguene, tome vii. p. 36. 


hid in those books which they turned over by night 
and by day, and still less were they led by them 
to renounce a system to which, among other secular 
advantages, they owed their literary leisure ; but 
neither, on the other hand, were men disposed at 
that period, as they were at a subsequent one, 
to employ sacred criticism as an art to invent argu- 
ments for supporting existing abuses, and there 
were always individuals, from time to time, whose 
minds welcomed the truth or were accessible to con- 
viction. Accordingly, we shall find among the con- 
verts to the reformed doctrine, men eminent for 
their literary attainments, the rank which they held 
in the church, and the character which they had 
obtained for piety in those orders to which 
the epithet religious had long been appropriat- 
ed. The reformers appealed from the fallible 
and conflicting opinions of the doctors of the 
church to the infallible dictates of revelation, and 
from the vulgate version of the scriptures to 
the Hebrew and Greek originals ; and in these 
appeals they were often supported by the transla- 
tions recently made by persons of acknowledged 
orthodoxy, and published with the permission 
and warm recommendations of the head of the 
church. In surveying this portion of history, it is 
impossible not to admire the arrangements of pro- 
vidence, when we perceive monks, and bishops, 
and cardinals, and popes, active in forging and 
polishing those weapons which were soon to lie 


turned against themselves, and which they after- 
wards would fain have blunted, and laboured to 
decry as unlawful and empoisoned. 

The works which have been described were con- 
fined to the learned ; and however useful they were, 
it is not probable that any impression would have 
been made on the public mind in Italy, unless the 
means of religious knowledge had been laid open to 
the people at large. As the church of Rome has 
strictly confined the religious service to an unknown 
tongue, we need not be astonished at the jealousy 
with which she has always viewed translations of the 
scriptures into vulgar languages. There would be 
still less reason for astonishment at this, if we might 
believe the statement of a learned Italian, that, down 
to the sixteenth century, all the sermons preached 
in churches were in Latin, and that those in Italian 
were delivered without the consecrated walls, in 
the piazzas or some contiguous spot. * This state- 
ment, however, has been controverted. The truth 
appears to be, that, in the thirteenth century, 
the sermons were preached in Latin, and after- 
wards explained in Italian to the common peo- 
ple ; and that instances of this practice occur 

Fontanini, Delia Eloquenza Italiana, lib. iii. cap- ii. pp. 250 
254. It is certain, that, as late as the middle of the ] 6th century, 
Isidoro Clario, bishop of Foligno, preached in Latin to a crowded 
assembly of men and women " Frequens iste, quem cerno, virorum, 
mulierumque, conventus," says the preacher. (Orationes Extraord. 
Venet. 1567, torn. i. orat. xvi.) 


in the history of the fifteenth century. * It was 
pleaded, that the dignity of the pulpit, and the sacred - 
ness of the word of God, suffered by using a differ- 
ent method ; and with equal force might it be urged, 
that " the sacred scriptures were vilified by being 
translated into the vulgar tongue. "t But in spite 
of this prejudice, translations of the Bible into Itali- 
an were attempted, as soon as the language had 
been purified and moulded by Dante, Petrarch, and 
others ; and they came from the press within a few 
years after the invention of the art of printing. 

Jacopo da Voragine, bishop of Genoa, and author 
of the Golden Legend, is said to have translated 
the scriptures into the language of Italy as early as 
the middle of the thirteenth century4 It is cer- 
tain, that this task was undertaken by more than 
one individual in the subsequent age, but executed, 
as may be supposed, in a rude and barbarous manner. 
An Italian version of the scriptures by Nicolo 
Malermi, or Malerbi, a Camaldolese monk, was 

* Apostolo Zeno, Note alia Bibliotecadcl Fontanini, torn. ii. p. 421. 
Sig. Domenico Maria Manni, Prefaz. alle Prediche di Fra Giordano ; 
apud Tiraboschi, tomo iv. pp. 496 198. 

t " Avvilire la sacra Scrittura il tradurla in lingua volgare," says 
Passavanti, in his Specchio di vera Penitenza, quoted by Fontanini, p. 


% Le Long doubts if there ever was such a version. (Bibl. Sac. 

torn. i. p. 352. edit. 3.) Fontanini denies its existence. (Delia Eloq. 
Ital. p. 673.) 

Fragments of such translations were to be found in libraries during 
the fifteenth century. Malermi expressly mentions one of them, which 
contained, he says, " cose enormi, que non lice ser dicte, ne da esser 
leggiute." (1). Abbate Giov. Andres, Dell' Origine d'ogni Letteratura, 
tomo xix. p. 200.) Girolamo Squarzafico, a learned man, who wrote a 
preface to the edition of the Bible in 1177, says: " Vcnerubilis Dominus 


printed at Venice so early as the year 1471,* and 
is said to have gone through no fewer than nine 
editions in the fifteenth and twelve editions in the 
sixteenth century ;f a proof that the Italians were 
at least addicted to reading in their native tongue, if 
there did not exist among them at that time a 
general desire for the word of God. We find an 
additional proof of this in the Italian versions of 
parts of scripture, which appeared about the same 
period.^ Malermi's translation, like those on which 
it was founded, was made from the vulgate, and writ- 
ten in a stvle unsuited to the sixteenth century. A 

Nicolaus de Malerrai (autde MalerbiJ sacra Biblia ex Latino Italice 
reddidit, eos imitatus, qui vulgares antea versiones, si sunt hoc nomine, 
et non potius confusiones nuncupantur, confecerunt." (Lettera Critica 
dal Signor Abbate N. N. all' Erud. Padre Giov. degli Agostini, p. 8. 
Roveredo, 1739.) 

* Fontanini, p. 673. De Bure (Partie de la Theologie) p. 89. It 
was printed " Kal. Aug. 14.71," by " Vind. de Spira," and contains a 
prefatory epistle by Nicolo di Malherbi. Another version of the 
Bible was printed in the month of October of the same year, without 
notice of the translator, printer, or place of printing. (Oibdin's 
iEdes Althorp. vol. ii. p. 44. Bibl. Spencer, vol. i. p. 63.) 

t Foscarini, Delia Letteratura Veneziana, vol. i. p. 339. Dr. Geddes 
says it went through thirteen editions in the space of less than half a 
century. (Prospectus of a New Translation, p. 103.) Andrew Ri- 
vet possessed a copy of the edition printed in 1477. (Opera, torn, ii, 
p. 920.) Pere Simon, who is not always so accurate as a severe critic 
on the works of others should be, speaks of Malermi's version as pub- 
lished for the first time in loll. (Hist. Crit. de V. Test. pp. 371, 
598. edit. 1G80.) 

X The two following are mentioned by Maffei : " Li quattro volumi 
de gli Evangeli volgarizzati da frate Guido, con le loro esposizioni 
fatte per Frate Simone da Cascia, Yen. 1486." " L'Apocalisse 
con le chiose de Nicolo da Lira ; traslazione di Maestro Federico da 
Venezia, lavorata nel 1391, e stampata Ven. 1.519." (Esame del Sig. 
Marchese Scipionc Maffei, p. 19. Roveredo, 1739.) 


version less barbarous in its diction, and more faithful 
to the original, had long been desired by the learned. 
This was at last undertaken by Antonio Brucioli, a 
native of Florence, who added a knowledge of He- 
brew to those classical attainments for which the in- 
habitants of his native city had long been celebrated.* 
After distinguishing himself among the academicians 
of his native city, he was driven into exile in conse- 
quence of an unsuccessful resistance to the usurpa- 
tions of the Medici, in which he had taken part, 
and travelled in France and Germany, from which 
he returned with his mind improved, and an ardent 
desire to enlighten his native country. But in the 
year 1529, he was forced a second time from Flo- 
rence, and narrowly escaped with his life, having 
incurred the suspicion of heresy. At Venice, where 
he found an asylum, and where two persons of the 
same name, his brothers or kinsmen, established a 
printing office, he published his translation of the 
scriptures, and commentaries on them. He was the 
author of several other works, philosophical and re- 
ligious,among which was a collection of hymns. f His 
version of the New Testament made its appearance 
in the year 1530 r and was followed at intervals, dur- 

* Aretino, in a letter to him, Nov. 7, 1537, says : " Voi sete huomo 
henza pare ne l'intelligentia de la lingua Hebraica, Grseca, Latina, e 

t An interesting account of Brucioli's life and writings is given 
by Schelhorn, an author to whom the history of the Reformation is 
greatly indebted, in his work, Ergotzlichkeiten aus der Kirchen- 
historie unci Litteratur. There is also a good article on him in Maz- 
zuchelli Scrittori Ital. tomo ii. parte iv. 


ing two years, by translations of the rest of the sacred 
books.* It is not evident, that Brucioli ever for- 
mally left the communion of the church of Rome, 
but his prefaces to the different parts of his version, 
in which he extols the utility of such works, and 
vindicates the common right of Christians to read 
the word of God in their own language, are written 
in the style and spirit of a protestant. His Bible 
was ranked among prohibited books of the first class 
in the index of the council of Trent, and all his 
works, " published or to be published," were for- 
mally interdicted.f But before this prohibitory 
sentence was issued or could be carried into exe- 
cution, his translation was eagerly read, and contri- 
buted greatly to increase religious knowledge in 
Italy. " Although Italy be the fort and power of 

* Le Long, Bibl. Sac. par. ii. p. 125-6. edit. Boerneri. Wolfii Notas 
ad Colom. Ital. Orient, p. 59. Gerdes. Ital. Ref. p. 190. Miscell. Gron- 
ingana, torn. ii. p. 658. Simon, Hist. Crit. de V. Test. 1. ii. chap. 22. 
and Disquis Crit. p. 193. There is confusion among some of these 
authorities, in enumerating the dates of printing, which I do not stop 
to examine. 

f Fontanini, in his work, Delia Eloqucnza Italiana, (p. 305.) says 
that Brucioli translated and commented on the Bible " alia Luterana." 
Scipio Maffei says, " l'Autore nelle prej'azione parla da Protestanti." 
Brucioli, in the dedication of his translation and exposition of Job, (a. 
1534.) calls Margaret, queen of Navarre, the great patroness of the 
reformed, " the refuge of oppressed Christians." Charles du Moulin 
Bays, he was condemned as " one that spoke neither well nor ill of 
God" " doctus et pius I talus, Antonius Brucioli, confhiatus Vene- 
tiis, et damnatus nee bene nee male de Deo loqui." (Molimei Collat. 
Evang. p. 142.) Tiraboschi accounts for the opposition made to his 
version, " per le molte eresie, di cui egli imbratto la stessa versioue, e 
piu ancora il difFuso comento in sette tomi in foglio, che poi diede in 
luce.'' (Storia, tomo vii. p. 404.) 


the pope's doctrine and empire, since his authority 
is there most strongly confirmed in the minds of the 
people, (say the divines of Geneva, in an answer to 
the cardinal bishop of Lucca,) yet the light could 
not be prevented from penetrating it in different 
quarters, and making the scales to fall from the eyes 
of many blind and chained captives, by means of 
an Italian translation of the scriptures by Brucioli, 
which appeared at that time, and which they did 
not then judge it advisable to suppress, as they have 
since attempted to do."* Such was the avidity of the 
public for the scriptures at this period, and the dis- 
position of the learned to gratify it, that other Italian 
versions were called for and produced in the course 
of a few years after the appearance of Brucioli's. 
The Bible published by Sante Marmocchini, was 
rather a revisal of Brucioli's than a new version.t 
Fra Zaccario followed Marmocchini in his trans- 
lation of the New Testament. + Massimo Teofilo, 
in his version of the New Testament,^ professes it 
as his object to preserve the purity of the Italian 
language, which had been neglected by other trans- 
lators ; but both he, and Filippo Rustici, who 
published a version of the Bible, [J defend, in their 
prefatory and subjoined discourses, the translation 
of the scriptures into vulgar languages, and write 
in every respect like protestants. ^[ 

* Gerdcsii Ital. Ref. p. 15. f Printed at Venice in 1538. 

X Printed in 15+2. Printed at Lyons in 1551. 

|| Printed in 1562. 

IT Gerdcs. Ital. Ref. pp. 329, 340. Abbate D. Giovanni Andres, 
ut supra, pp. 212-3. Henr. a Porta, De Ling. Orient, p. 71. 


The protestant opinions were also propagated in 
Italy by the intercourse carried on by letters and 
travelling between it and the countries which had 
embraced the Reformation. It had long been the cus- 
tom for the German youth to finish their education, 
especially in law and medicine, at Padua, Bologna, 
and other Italian universities. The Italians in their 
turn now began to visit the schools of Switzerland 
and Germany, whose literary reputation was daily 
advancing ; and many of them were attracted to 
Wittemberg by the fame of Melanchthon, who was 
known to most of the learned in Italy, and with 
whom Bembo and Sadoleti did not scruple to main- 
tain a friendly correspondence by letters.* The 
effects of this intercourse were so visible that it was 
repeatedly complained of by the more zealous de- 
fenders of the old religion ; and a writer of that time 
gives it as his advice, " that a stop should be put to 
all commerce and intercourse, epistolary or other- 
wise, between the Germans and Italians, as the best 
means of preventing heresy from pervading all 

War, which brings so many evils in its train, and 
proved such a scourge to Italy during the first half 
of the sixteenth century, was overruled by provi- 
dence for spreading the gospel in that country. The 

* Melanchthon, Epist. coll. 368, 373, 712, 728, 733, 758, edit. 

t Busdragi Epistola de Italia a Lutheranismo preservanda ; in 
Serin. Antiq. torn. i. p. 324. It has been supposed, that Vergerio con- 
cealed himself under the feigned name of Gerardus Busdragus, and 
that the whole letter is a piece of irony. 


troops which Charles V. brought from Germany to 
assist him in his Italian expeditions, and the Swiss 
auxiliaries who followed the standard of his rival 
Francis I., contained many protestants.* With 
the freedom of men who have swords in their hands, 
these foreigners conversed on the religious controver- 
sy with the inhabitants on whom they were quarter- 
ed. They extolled the religious liberty which they 
enjoyed at home, derided the frightful idea of the re- 
formers which the monks had impressed in the minds 
of the people, talked in the warmest strains of Lu- 
ther and his associates as the restorers of Christia- 
nity, contrasted the purity of their lives, and the 
slender income with which they were contented, with 
the wealth and luxury of their opponents, and ex- 
pressed their astonishment that a people of such spirit 
as the Italians should continue to yield a base and im- 
plicit subjection to an indolent and corrupt priesthood, 
which sought to keep them in ignorance, that it might 
feed on the spoils of their credulity. The impression 
which these representations were calculated to make 
on the minds of the people, was strengthened by the 
angry manifestoes which the pope and emperor pub- 
lished against each other. Clement charged the 
emperor with indifference to religion, and complain- 
ed that he had enacted laws in various parts of his 
dominions, which were highly injurious to the in- 
terests of the church, as well as derogatory to the 
honour of the Holy See. Charles recriminated, by 

* Robertson's Charles V. vol. ii. p. 356. Gerties. Ital. Kef. p 17. 


accusing the pope of kindling afresh the flames of 
war in Europe, that he might evade, what was uni- 
versally and loudly called for, the reformation of the 
church in its head and members ; he wrote to the 
cardinals to summon a general council for this pur- 
pose ; and threatened that, if this were not done, he 
would abolish the jurisdiction of the pope through- 
out Spain, and convince other nations, by his exam- 
ple, that ecclesiastical abuses might be corrected, 
and the ancient discipline of the church restored, 
without the intervention of papal authority.* 

Nor did the emperor rest in threatenings. His 
general, the duke of Bourbon, having entered the 
papal territories, Rome was taken and sacked, and 
the pontiff, after enduring a siege in the castle of 
St. Angelo, was obliged to surrender to the impe- 
rial troops, by which he was kept for a consider- 
able time as a captive. According to the accounts 
given by Roman Catholic historians, the Germans 
in the emperor's army behaved with great modera- 
tion towards the inhabitants of Rome after the first 
day's pillage, and contented themselves with testify- 
ing their detestation for idolatry ; the Spaniards 
never relented in their rapacity and cruelty, tortur- 
ing the prisoners to make them discover their trea- 
sures ; while the Italians imitated the Spaniards in 
their cruelty, and the Germans in their impiety.f 

* Pro divo Carolo ejus nominis quint, Apologetici libri duo ; 
Mogunt. 1527. Sleidan, Comment, torn. i. pp. 332 336, edit. Am 
Ende. De Thou, Hist. lib. i. sect. 11. 

t Guicciardini, II Sacco di Roma; and the authorities quoted by 
Sismondi, Hist, des Rep. Ital. tome xv. pp. 274-6. 


A scene which was exhibited during the siege of the 
castle, will convey an idea of the indignity shown to 
all which had been held sacred in the Roman see. 
A party of German soldiers, mounted on horses and 
mules, assembled one day on the streets of Rome. 
One of them, named Grunwald, distinguished by 
his majestic countenance and stature, being attired 
like the pope, and wearing a triple crown, was plac- 
ed on a horse richly caparisoned. Others were ar- 
rayed like cardinals, some wearing mitres, and others 
clothed in scarlet or white, according to the rank of 
those whom they personated. In this form they 
marched, amidst the sounding of drums and fifes, 
and accompanied with a vast concourse of people, 
with all the pomp and ceremony usually observed 
in a pontifical procession. When they passed a house 
in which any of the cardinals was confined, Grun- 
wald blessed the people by stretching out his fingers 
in the manner practised by the pope on such occa- 
sions. After some time he was taken from his horse, 
and borne on the shoulders of one of his companions 
on a pad or seat prepared for the purpose. Having 
reached the castle of St. Angelo, a large cup was put 
into his hands, from which he drank to the health 
and safe custody of Clement, in which he was pledg- 
ed by his attendants. He then administered to his 
cardinals an oath, in which he joined ; engaging, 
that they would yield obedience and faithful allegi- 
ance to the emperor, as their lawful and only prince, 
that they would not disturb the peace of the em- 
pire by intrigues, but, as became them, and accord- 



ing to the precepts of scripture and the example of 
Christ and his apostles, would be subject to the 
civil powers. After a speech in which he rehearsed 
the civil, parricidal, and sacrilegious wars excited 
by the popes, and acknowledged that providence had 
raised up the emperor Charles to revenge these 
crimes, and bridle the rage of wicked priests, the 
pretended pontiff solemnly promised to transfer by 
testament all his authority and power to Martin Lu- 
ther, that he might remove all the corruptions which 
had infected the apostolical see, and completely refit 
the ship of St. Peter, that it might no longer be the 
sport of the winds and waves, through the unskil- 
fulness and negligence of its governors, who, intrust- 
ed with the helm, had spent their days and nights 
in drinking and debauchery. Then raising his voice, 
he said, " All who agree to these things, and are 
willing to see them carried into execution, let them 
signify this by lifting up their hands ;" upon which 
the whole band of soldiers, raising their hands, ex- 
claimed, " Long live Pope Luther ! Long live Pope 
Luther !" All this was performed under the eye of 
Clement VII.* 

In other circumstances, such proceedings would 
have been regarded in no other light than as the un- 
bridled excesses of a licentious soldiery, and might 
have excited compassion for the captive pontiff. 

* Narratio Direptionis Expugnata? Urbis, ex Italico translata a 
Casparo Barthio, apud Fabricii Centifol. Lutheran, tom. i. pp. 96 98. 
The principal facts in this narrative arc confirmed by the popish 
writers, Cochlseus, Spondanus, &c. 


But at this time all were convinced, that the wars 
which had so long desolated Italy were chiefly to be 
ascribed to the ambition and resentment of the 
popes ; and the conduct of Clement in provoking a 
powerful enemy, whom he was incapable of resist- 
ing, appeared to be the effect of a judicial infatua- 
tion. The disasters which befel the papal see 
and the city of Rome were interpreted as marks of 
divine displeasure, and those who insulted over them 
were regarded as heralds employed to denounce the 
judgments of heaven against an incorrigible court, 
and a city desecrated and defiled by all manner of 
wickedness. These were not merely the sentiments of 
the vulgar, or of such as had already imbibed the re- 
formed opinions. They were entertained by digni- 
taries of the Roman church, and uttered within the 
walls of the Vatican. We have a proof of this in 
a speech delivered by Staphylo, bishop of Sibari, at 
the first meeting of the apostolical Rota held after 
Rome was delivered from a foreign army. Having 
described the devastations committed on the city, 
the bishop proceeds in the following manner : " But 
whence, I pray, have these things proceeded? and why 
have such calamities befallen us ? Because all flesh 
have corrupted their ways : because we are citizens, 
not of the holy city Rome, but of Babylon the wick- 
ed city. The word of the Lord spoken by Isaiah is 
accomplished in our times, ' How is the faithful 
city become an harlot ! It was full of judgment 
and holiness, righteousness formerly dwelt in it ; 
now sacrilegious persons and murderers. Formerly 


it was inhabited by a holy nation, a peculiar people ; 
but now by the people of Gomorrah, a depraved 
seed, wicked children, unfaithful priests, the com- 
panions of thieves.' Lest any should suppose that 
this prophetic oracle was fulfilled long ago in the over- 
throw of the Babylonish Jerusalem by the Roman 
emperors, Vespasian and Titus, seeing the words 
appear to refer to the time in which the prophet 
lived, I think it proper to observe, agreeably to ec- 
clesiastical verity, that future things were set be- 
fore the eyes of the prophet's mind as present. 
This is evident from the sacred writings through- 
out : * The daughter of Zion shall be forsaken and 
made desolate by the violence of the enemy.' This 
daughter of Zion, the apostle John, in the book of 
Revelation, explains as meaning not Jerusalem but 
the city Rome, as appears from looking into his 
description. For John, or rather the angel, explain- 
ing to John the vision concerning the judgment of 
the whore, represents this city as meant by Baby- 
lon. ' The woman (says he) whom thou sawest is 
that great city which reigns (he refers to a spiritual 
reign) over the kings of the earth.' He says : 
' She sits on seven hills;' which applies properly to 
Rome, called, from ancient times, the seven-hilled 
city. She is also said to ' sit on many waters,' 
which signify people, nations, and various languages, 
of which, as we see, this city is composed more 
than any other city in the Christian world. He says 
also, ' She is full of names of blasphemy, the mo- 
ther of uncleanness, fornications and abominations 


of the earth.' This supersedes the necessity of any 
more specific proof, that Rome is the city referred 
to ; seeing these vices, though they prevail every- 
where, have fixed their seat and empire with us."* 
If such were the impressions made on the mind of 
a bishop by this event, and if such was the language 
held within the hearing of the sovereign pontiff, 
what must have been the feelings and the language of 
those who were less interested in the support of the 
ecclesiastical monarchy, and who were still greater 
sufferers from the ambition and tyranny of those who 
administered its affairs? The mysterious veil of sanc- 
tity, by which the minds of the vulgar had been long 
overawed, was now torn off; and when revealed, the 
claims of the priesthood appeared to be as arrogant 
and unfounded as their conduct was inconsistent with 
the character which they had assumed, and with the 
precepts of that religion of which they professed to 
be the teachers and guardians. The horror hither- 
to felt at the name of heretic or Lutheran in Italy 
began to abate, and the minds of the people were 
prepared to listen to the teachers of the reformed 
doctrine, who in their turn were emboldened to 
preach and make proselytes in a more open manner 
than they had yet ventured to do. " In Italy also, 
(says the historian of the council of Trent, speaking 
of this period,) as there had neither been pope nor 
papal court at Rome for nearly two years, and as 

* Oratio habita ad Auditores Rota?, de causis Excidii Urbis Roma;, 
anno 1527; inter Rerum German. Scriptores, a Schardio, torn. ii. p. 
613, &c. Wolfii Lcct. Memor. torn. ii. p. 300. 


most looked on the calamities which had fallen on both 
as the execution of a divine judgment, on account of the 
corruptions of its government, many listened with avi- 
dity to the Reformation ; in several cities, and particu- 
larly at Faenza, which was situated within the terri- 
tories of the pope, sermons were delivered in private 
houses against the church of Rome; and the number of 
those named Lutherans, or as they called themselves 
Evangelicals, increased every day."* That these 
sermons were not entirely confined to private houses, 
and that the reformed doctrine was publicly preach- 
ed in Italy before the year 1530, we learn from the 
highest authority. " From the report made to us, 
(says pope Clement VII.) we have learned with 
great grief of heart, that in different parts of Italy, 
the pestiferous heresy of Luther prevails to a high 
degree, not only among secular persons, but also 
among ecclesiastics and the regular clergy, both 
mendicant and non-mendicant ; so that some by 
their discourses and conversation, and what is worse, 
by their public preaching, infect numbers with this 
disease, and greatly scandalize faithful Christians, 
living under the obedience of the Roman church, 
and observing its laws, to the increase of heresies, 
the stumbling of the weak, and the no small injury 
of the catholic faith. "f These appearances, while 
they gave alarm to the friends of the papacy, excit- 

* Fra Paolo, Hist, du Concile de Trente, p. 87, edit. Courayer. 
With this the statement of Giannone exactly agrees. (Hist. Civ. de 
Naples, torn. iv. p. 110.) 

-f- Raynaldi Annates, ad ann. 1530. 



ed hopes in the breasts of those who had espoused 
the cause of the Reformation. Both calculated on 
the national character of the Italians ; and it was 
a common remark, that as the plague, on account 
of the intenser heat of an Italian sky, was more 
violent in that country than in Germany, so Luther- 
anism, if it seized on the minds of the Italians, 
which were more ardent and vivacious than those 
of the Germans, would rage with greater impetuosi- 
ty and violence.* 

* Campegii Cardinalis Oratio ad ordines Imperii Norimberg. ; apud 
Seckendorf, lib. i. p. 289. Busdragi Epistola in Scrinio AntiquariOj 
torn, i- par. ii. p. 325. 




Having given a general account of the intro- 
duction of the reformed opinions into Italy, and the 
causes which led to this, I now proceed to trace the 
progress which they made through the different 
states and cities of that country. 

Ferrara is entitled to the first notice, on account 
of the protection which it afforded at an early period 
to the friends of the Reformation, who fled from vari- 
ous parts of Italy, and from foreign countries. Un- 
der the government of its dukes of the illustrious 
house of Este, Ferrara had for some time vied with 
Florence in the encouragement of learning and the 
fine arts. Ariosto lived at the court of Alfonso I., 
as did Bernardo Tasso, and at a subsequent period, 
his more illustrious son, the author of Jerusalem 
Delivered, at the court of Ercole II. ; and in con- 
sequence of this, the genealogy and achievements of 
the dukes of Ferrara have been transmitted to pos- 
terity by the first poets of that age. Hercules had re- 
ceived a good education, and was induced by personal 
judgment and feeling to yield that patronage to learn- 
ed men which contemporary princes paid as a tribute 


to fashion, and out of regard to their own fame * 
The house of Este had in several late instances been 
ill repaid for the devotion which they had shown to 
the interests of the see of Rome ; but the reason al- 
ready mentioned, as attaching the Italian princes to 
the pope, overcame the sense of the injury. Ippolito, 
a younger son of Duke Alfonso, and afterwards 
his nephew, Ludovico, were cardinals ; and from 
time immemorial a branch of the family had occu- 
pied a place in the sacred college.f Accordingly, 
Alfonso had proved a faithful ally to Clement 
during the humiliating disasters to which he was 
exposed ; and his successor Hercules, though more 
enlightened in religious matters than his father, 
avoided any thing which might give offence to the 
supreme pontiff. 

In the year 1527, Hercules II. married Renee, 
daughter of Louis XII. of France ; and the coun- 
tenance which the reformed opinions obtained at 
the court of Ferrara, is chiefly to be ascribed to 
the influence of that amiable and accomplished 
princess. Distinguished for her virtue and ge- 
nerosity, of the most elegant and engaging man- 
ners, speaking the French and Italian langua- 

* Ctelii Calcagnini Opera, pp. 77, 11G, 144, 175. The eulogium 
which Calcagnini has pronounced on him, is justified by the account 
of a conversation between them respecting the choice of a tutor to the 
duke's son. (lb. p. 168. Conf. pp. 160-162.) 

f Puffendorf, Introd. Hist. Europ. p. 606. Black's Life of Tasso, 
i. 348. To this Ariosto alludes : 

'Twere long to tell the names of all thy race, 
That in the conclave shall obtain a place, 
To tell each enterprise their arms shall gain, 
What comjuests for the Roman church obtain. 

(Orlando Furioso, book iii.) 


ges with equal purity, and deeply versed in the 
Greek and Roman classics, she attracted the love 
and admiration of all who knew her.* Before 
leaving her native country she had become acquaint- 
ed with the reformed doctrine, by means of some of 
those learned persons who frequented the court of 
the celebrated Margaret, queen of Navarre; and she 
was anxious to facilitate its introduction into the 
country to which her residence was now transferred, 
For some time she could only do this under the co- 
vert of entertaining its friends as men of letters, 
which the duke, her husband, was ready to encour- 
age, or at least to wink at. The first persons to whom 
she extended her protection and hospitality on this 
principle, were her own countrymen, whom the 
violence of persecution had driven out of France. 
Madame de Soubise, the governess of the duchess, 
had introduced several men of letters into the court 
of France, during the late reign. f She now resided 
at the court of Ferrara, along with her son, Jean 
de Parthenai, sieur de Soubise, afterwards a princi- 
pal leader of the protestant party in France ; her 
daughter, Anne de Parthenai, distinguished for her 
elegant taste ; and the future husband of this young 
lady, Antoine de Pons, count de Marennes, who 
adhered to the reformed cause until the death of his 
wife4 In the year 1534, the celebrated French 

* Muratori, Antichita Estensi, torn. ii. p. 368. Tiraboschi, Storia, 
torn. vii. par. i. p. 37. Calcagnini Opera, pp. 149, 150. 
+ Oeuvres de Clement Marot, torn. ii. pp. 182181. A la Haye, 

X Ibid. pp. 178181. Bayle, Diet. art. Soubise, J. de Parthenai. 


poet, Clement Marot, fled from liis native country, 
in consequence of the persecution excited by the 
placards, and after residing for a short time at the 
court of the queen of Navarre in Beam, came to 
Ferrara.* He was introduced by Madame de Sou- 
bise to the duchess, who made him her secretary ;f 
and his friend, Lyon Jamet, finding it necessary 
soon after to join him, met with a reception equally 
gracious 4 About the same time, the celebrated re- 
former, John Calvin, visited Ferrara, where he spent 
some months under the assumed name of Charles 
Heppeville. He received the most distinguished at- 
tention from the duchess, who was confirmed in the 
protestant faith by his instructions, and ever after 
retained the highest respect for his character and 
talents. In the year 1536, the duke of Ferrara 
entered into a league with the pope and emperor, by 
one of the secret articles of which he was bound to 
remove all the French from his court ; and in conse- 
quence of this, the duchess was obliged reluctantly 

* In the biographical and critical preface to the Hague edition of 
Marot's works, by Le Chevalier Gordon de Tercel (under which name, 
Nicole Lenglet du Fresnoy is supposed to have concealed himself,) it 
is stated, that the famous Diana of Poitiers, afterwards mistress of 
Henry II. instigated the persecution against Marot, in revenge for 
some satirical verses, which he had written on her for deserting him. 
(Tom. i. pp. 25, 76.) 

t Oeuvres de Marot, torn. i. pp. 75-79. Beze, Hist. Eccl. torn. i. p. 
22. Le Laboureur, Addit. aux Mem. de Castelnau, p. 71G. Noltenii 
Vita Olympic Moratae, pp. 60-62. edit. Hesse. 

% Nolten, ut supra, pp. 65-67. 

Beza, Vita Calvini. Muratori, Antichita Estensi, torn. ii. p. 389. 
Ruchat, Hist, de la Reform, de la Suisse, tome v. p. 620. The mis- 
statements of Varillas and Moreri respecting Calvin's visit to Italy 
are corrected by Bayle, Diet, ut supra. 


to part with Madame de Soubise and her family.* 
Marot retired to Venice, from which he soon after 
obtained permission to return in safety to his native 
country. f It is not improbable, that he was induc- 
ed at first to take part with the reformers from re- 
sentment at the opposition which the clergy made 
to every species of literature ; but his attachment 
to the protestant doctrine was greatly increased 
during his residence at Ferrara, if we may judge 
from the strain of the letters and other pieces which 
proceeded from his pen at this time, and which 
breathe the spirit of martyrdom. Probably he would 
have shrunk from the fiery trial, if he had been ex- 
posed to it; but it does not follow from this, either 
that the sentiments referred to are not noble, or that 
the poet was not in earnest when he uttered them. ^ 

* Epitres de Rabelais, p. 1 8. Marot has described with much ten- 
derness, the distress which the duchess felt on this occasion, in an 
epistle to the queen of Navarre : 

Ha, Marguerite ! escoute la souffrance 
Du noble cueur de Renee de France ; 
Puis comme soeur plus fort que d'esperance 

Console la. 
Tu scais comment hors son pays alia, 
Et que parens et amis laissa la ; 
Mais tu ne scais quel traitement elle a 

En terre estrange. 
Elle ne voit ceux a qui se veult plaindre, 
Son ceil rayant si loing ne peult attaindre, 
Et puis les monts pour se bien lui estaindre 
Sont entre deux. 

(Oeuvres, tome ii. 317-8.) 
t In the title to his 21st Cantique, he is said to be "banni de 
France, depuis chasse de Ferrara, et de la retire' a Venise 1536." (Oeuv- 
res, tome ii. p. 316. comp. tome i. pp. 82-3. Bayle, art. Marot, Cle- 

% The account which he gave of his faith in his poetical epistlr 


Lyon Jamet was allowed to remain with the duchess* 
probably as a person less known than Marot, and 
discharged the duty of secretary to Renee after the 
departure of his friend.* 

Several individuals who were decidedly favour- 
able to the Reformation obtained a place in the uni- 
versity of Ferrara, which was now fast recovering 
its former lustre, after having suffered severe- 
ly from the civil wars, in which the family of Este 
had for many years been involved. f But the re- 
formed doctrine was propagated chiefly by means 
of those learned men whom the duchess retained 
in her family for the education of her children. 
This was conducted on an extensive scale, suited 
to the liberality of her own views and the munifi- 
cence of her husband. Teachers in all branches of 
polite letters and arts were provided. In the gal- 
axy of learned men which adorned the court of 

addressed to his prosecutor, Mons. Bouchar, in 1325, differs widely 
from that which is contained in his epistle addressed to Francis I. in 
1536. (Oeuvres, tome ii. p. 39. comp. p. 167.) His willingness to suf- 
fer martyrdom, which his biographer, after Bayle, has sneered at, is 
expressed in the following lines : 

Que pleust a 1' Eternel, 

Pour le grand bien du peuple desole, 

Que leur desir de mon sang fust saoule, 

Et tant d'abus, dont ils se sont munis, 

Fussent a cler descouverts et punis, 

O quatre fois et cinq fois bien heureuse 

La mort, tant soit cruelle et rigoureuse ! 

Qui feroit seule un million de vies 

Sous tels abus n'estre plus asservies ? 
* Oeuvres de Marot, tome ii. p. 159. Bayle, art. Marot, Clement, 
t In the beginning of the sixteenth century, there were so many 
English students at the university of Ferrara, as to form a distinct 
nation in that learned corporation. (Bersetti Hist. Gymn. Ferrar. 
apud Tiraboscbi, tomo vii. p. 119.) 


Ferrara, were Celio Calcagnini, Lilio Giraldi, Bar- 
tolomeo Riccio, Marzello Palingenio, and Marco 
Antonio Flaminio, men whose minds were elevated 
above the superstitions of the age, if they were not 
disciples to the protestant faith. * During a vi- 
sit which the pontiff, Paul III., paid to Ferrara, 
in the year 1543, the Adelphi of Terence was acted 
by the youth of the family, and the three daughters 
of the duke, the eldest of whom was only twelve 
and the youngest five years of age, performed their 
parts with great applause, f His Holiness was not 
then aware of the religious sentiments of the mas- 
ters by whom the juvenile princesses had been qualifi- 
ed for affording him this classical amusement. Chi- 
lian and John Sinapi, two brothers from Germany, 
instructed them in Greek, and being protestants, 
imbued their minds with sound views of religion. |. 
Fulvio Peregrino Morata, a native of Mantua, and 
a successful teacher of youth in various parts of 
Italy, had been tutor to the two younger brothers 
of duke Hercules, and having returned finally to 
Ferrara in 1539, was re-admitted to his professor- 
ship in the university. Like most of his learned 

* Noltenii Vita Olympiae Morata, pp. 67 87, ed. Hesse. 

f Muratori, ui svpra, ii. 368. 

% Opera Olympic Moratse, pp. 76, 97, 203, 205. 

Nolten, ut supra, pp. 11 17. His works in Italian and in 
Latin are mentioned by Tiraboschi, (Storia, tomo vii.pp. 1197 1200) 
and by Scbelborn. (Amoen. Eccl. et Lit. torn. ii. p. 617.) A warm 
eulogium is passed on liim by Calcagnini, (Opera, p. 156.) and by 
Bembo. (Epist. Famil. apud Schclhorn.) Bembo, in a letter " a M. 
Bernardo Tasso, Secretario della Signora Duchessa di Ferrara," May 
27, 1529, speaks of " Maestro Pellcgrino Moretto," as having said 
some injurious things of his prose works. (Lettere, tomo iii. p. 
226. Milano, 1810.) 


countrymen, Morata's mind had been engrossed with 
secular studies during the first part of his life, but 
having met withCelio Secundo Curio, a refugee from 
Piedmont, he imbibed from him the knowledge of 
evangelical truth and a deep sense of religion.* Es- 
teemed as he was for his learning and integrity, he 
became still more celebrated as the father of Olym- 
pia Morata, one of the most learned females of the 
age, whom he educated with a zeal prompted by 
parental fondness and professional enthusiasm. In 
consequence of her early proficiency in letters, 
Olympia was chosen by the duchess to be the com- 
panion of her eldest daughter, Anne, with whom 
she improved in every elegant and useful accom- 
plishment ; and although she afterwards acknow- 
ledged that her personal piety suffered from the 
bustle and blandishments of a court, yet it was dur- 
ing her residence in the ducal palace that she ac- 
quired that knowledge of the gospel which support- 
ed her mind under the privations and hardships 
which she afterwards had to endure, f 

We have no means of ascertaining the number 
of protestants at Ferrara, which probably varied at 
different times, in consequence of the fluctuating 
politics of the duke, and the measures of religious 
constraint or toleration which were alternatelv 

* Fulvio calls Curio his " divine teacher, one sent of God to in- 
struct him, as Ananias was sent to Paul." (Nolten, Vita Olympise 
Moratse, p. 17, 18, ed. Hesse. Opuscula Olympice Moratse, pp. 94, 
96, edit. Basil. 1580.) 

t Ccelii Secundi Curionis Araneus, pp. 153, 154. Basil. 1541. 


adopted by the other states of Italy. One account 
mentions, that they had several preachers as early 
as the year 1528 ; * but whether they were per- 
mitted to teach publicly or not, we are not inform- 
ed. That their labours were successful, is evident 
from the number of distinguished persons who either 
imbibed the protestant doctrine, or were confirmed 
in their attachment to it, at Ferrara. To the in- 
stance of this among the natives of France already 
mentioned, may be added Hubert Languet, an ac- 
complished scholar, and one of the first, or at least 
soundest, politicians of his age.f The most emi- 
nent of the Italians who embraced the reformed faith, 
or who exposed themselves to the suspicions of the 
clergy by the liberality of their opinions, resided for 
some time at the court of Ferrara, or were indebted 
in one way or other to the patronage of Renee. 

Modena was also under the government of the 
house of Este, and most probably owed its first ac- 
quaintance with the reformed opinions to the same 
cause which introduced them into Ferrara. Some 
of the Modenese were among the early correspond- 
ents of Luthei'4 Few cities of Italy in that age 
could boast of having given birth to a greater num- 
ber of persons eminent for talents and learning than 
Modena. It reckoned among its citizens four of 
the most accomplished members of the sacred col- 
lege, (including Sadoleti,) Sigonio, the celebrated 

* Tempe Helvetica, torn. iv. p. 138. 

t Langueti Epistola?, lib. i. part. ii. pp. Ill, 264. Halfe, 1699. 

X Gerdesii Italia Reformata, p. 61. 


antiquary, Castelvetro, a critic of great acuteness, 
and many others, whose names occur frequently in the 
history of Italian literature. Modena possessed one 
of those academies which sprung up in such great 
numbers in Italy during the sixteenth century, and 
threw into shade the old and endowed seminaries of 
science. This owed its origin to an opulent physician 
of the name of Grillenzone, who lived with his five 
brothers and their families in one house, which was 
open at all times to learned men. Religious topics 
were not excluded from the discussions of the Acca- 
demia del Grillenzone, and some of its most distin- 
guished members inclined to the opinions of the re- 
formers. Muratori, in his Life of Castelvetro, repre- 
sents the ecclesiastical proceedings instituted against 
this learned body as originating solely in one of 
those feuds in which the literati of that age were 
not unfrequently involved with the priests and 
friars ; but more accurate investigation has shown 
that they had a deeper foundation. The academy 
had incurred strong suspicions of being tainted 
with heresy as early as 1537, on account of a 
book circulated in the city, which had been con- 
demned as heretical, but which the academicians 
defended as sound and worthy of approbation.* 
Two years after this, the inquisitor of heretical 
pravity was directed by a papal rescript to make 
diligent inquiry after the adherents to the new opi- 
nions among the different religious orders establish- 

* For a fuller account of the dispute occasioned by this hook, Ti- 
rahoschi (torn. vii. p. 168.) refers to Biblioteca deg-Ii Scriitori Mo- 
denesi ; a work which I have not been able to see. 


ed in this city.* In 1540, Paolo Ricci, or Lisia 

Fileno, as he was also called, a native of Sicily, 
who had imbibed the reformed doctrine, came to 
Modena, where his reputation for learning secured 
him a cordial reception. He made it his business 
to find out the friends of the new opinions who 
were scattered in the city ; and having prevailed on 
them to meet privately in a particular house, acted 
as their teacher. His instructions soon made ad- 
ditional converts ; and gathering courage with their 
numbers, the new preachers mounted the pulpit, 
and drew crowds to their sermons. This produced 
a great sensation in the city ; the scriptures were 
eagerly consulted, and the subjects in dispute be- 
tween the church of Rome and her opponents were 
freely and generally canvassed. " Persons of all 
classes," (says a contemporary popish writer,) " not 
only the learned, but also the illiterate and women, 
whenever they met in the streets, in shops, or in 
churches, disputed about faith and the law of Christ, 
and all promiscuously tortured the sacred scriptures, 
quoting Paul, Matthew, John, the Apocalypse, and 
all the doctors, though they never saw their writ- 
ings."! The news f the success of the gospel at 
Modena reached Germany, and drew a letter of 
congratulation and advice from Bucer. t The 

* Spondani Annal. acl an. 1539. 

t Cronaca MS. di Alessandro Tassoni, apud Tiraboschi, toni. vit. 
p. 168. Ginguene translates the passage into good French, and gives 
it as his own description of the fact, without appearing to be aware 
that this was the common language of Roman Catholic writers of that 
age, when they spake of the people reading the scriptures or con wis . 
ing on religious subjects. (Hist. Litt. d'ltalie, p. 365.) 

X Buceri Script. Anglic, p. <i87. 


clergy made loud complaints ; and Ricci, being 
apprehended in the neighbouring village of Staggia 
by the orders of duke Hercules, was conducted as 
a prisoner to Ferrara, and forced to make a public 
recantation of his opinions. But the seed sown by 
him and others had already taken deep root in the 
minds of the Modenese, who testified their indig- 
nation at the treatment of their favourite preacher, 
by publicly deriding the priests, and on some oc- 
casions obliging them to come down from the 
pulpit.* In these practices the populace were not 
a little encouraged by the known sentiments of 
the academicians, who did not conceal their con- 
tempt of the ignorance and profligacy of the clergy. 
Cardinal Morone, then bishop of Modena, complains 
of this in a letter addressed to cardinal Contarene 
in 1542, and adds, that it was the common report, 
that " the whole city Avas turned Lutheran."! 

Florence had lately seen two of her citizens 
advanced to the papal throne ; an intimate connex- 
ion subsisted between her and Rome ; and she had 
yielded up her liberties to Cosmo de Medici, who 
exercised the supreme authority, under the title 
of Grand Duke of Tuscany. On these accounts, the 
reformed doctrine was never permitted to make great 
progress in Florence. But so early as 1525, the 
disputes concerning religion were agitated there, 
and many of the Florentines had embraced the new 
opinions.]: Brucioli and Teofilo, already mentioned 

* Tiraboscbi, vii. 169. 

|- Quirini Diatrib. ad vol. iii. Epist. Card. Poli, p. cclxxxvi. Sa- 
loleti Epist. Famil. vol. iii. p. 317. 
X Sanctes Pagnini, Prsefat. in Bibl. Lat. auno 1528. 


as translators of the scriptures, and Carneseca and 
Martyr, of whom we shall afterwards have occasion 
to speak particularly, were natives of Florence ; nor 
were there wanting several of their fellow-citizens 
who sighed for religious reform and liberty, but 
who, despairing to find it at home, chose a voluntary 
banishment, and an uncertain and uncomfortable 
abode in foreign countries.* 

Bologna, in the sixteenth century, formed part 
of the territories of the church, and from it the su- 
preme pontiffs issued some of the severest of their 
edicts against heresy. But this did not prevent the 
light which was shining around, from penetrating in- 
to that city. The university of Bologna was one of 
the earliest, if not the very first, of the great schools 
of Europe, and the extensive privileges enjoyed by 
its members were favourable to liberal sentiments, 
and the propagation of the new opinions in religion. 
The essential principles of liberty, equally obnoxious 
to political and ecclesiastical despots, were boldly 
avowed in public disputations before the students, 
at a time when they had fallen into disrepute in 
those states of Italy which still retained a shadow 
of their former freedom, f John Mollio, a native 
of Montalcino in the territory of Sienna, was a 
principal instrument of promoting the gospel at Bo- 
logna. He had entered in his youth into the order 
of Minorites, but instead of wasting his time, like 
the most of his brethren, in idleness or superstition, 

* Gerdesii Syllabus Ital. Reform, passim. 
f Life of John Knox, vol, ii. p. 123. 


had devoted himself to the study of polite letters 
and theology. By the careful perusal of the scrip- 
tures and certain books of the reformers, he attain- 
ed to clear views of evangelical truth, which his ta- 
lents, and his reputation for learning and piety, 
enabled him to recommend, both as a preacher and 
an academical professor. * After acquiring great 
celebrity as a teacher in the universities of Bres- 
cia, Milan, and Pavia, he came, about the year 
1533, to Bologna. Certain propositions which he 
advanced in his lectures, relating to justification 
by faith and other points then agitated, were oppos- 
ed by Cornelio, a professor of metaphysics, who, 
being foiled in a public dispute which ensued be- 
tween them, lodged a charge of heresy against his 
opponent, and procured his citation to Rome. Mol- 
lio defended himself with such ability and address, 
that the judges appointed by Paul III. to try the 
cause were forced to acquit him, in the way of de- 
claring that the sentiments which he had maintained 
were true, although they were such as could not be 
publicly taught at that time without prejudice to the 
apostolical see. He was therefore sent back to Bo- 
loana, with an admonition to abstain for the future 
from explaining the epistles of St. Paul. But, con- 
tinuing to teach the same doctrine as formerly, and 
with still greater applause from his hearers, cardi- 
nal Campeggio procured an order from the pope to 
remove him from the university, f 

The state of religious feeling at Bologna is de- 

* Histoirc des Martyrs, f. 264, edit. 1597, folio. Zanchii Epist. 
lib. ii. col. 278. 
t Pantaleon, Reruro in Eccl. Gest. lib. ix. f. 263. 


picted in a letter as singular in its style as in its 
matter, which some inhabitants of that city address- 
ed to John Planitz, who had come to Italy as am- 
bassador from the elector of Saxony to Charles V. 
Having mentioned the report that he was sent to 
intreat the emperor to use his influence with the 
pope to call a council for the reformation of the 
church, an object which had been long and earnest- 
ly expected by all good men, they proceed in the 
following manner : " If this be true, as we trust 
it is, then we offer our thanks to you all, to you 
for visiting this Babylonian land, to Germany for 
demanding a council, and especially to your evan- 
gelical prince, who has undertaken the defence of 
the gospel, and of all the faithful, with such ardour, 
that, not content with restoring the grace and liberty 
of Christ to his native Saxony and to Germany, he 
seeks to extend the same blessings toEngland,France, 
Spain, Italy, and the churches in every other coun- 
try. We are quite aware, that it is a matter of 
small consequence to you whether a council is as- 
sembled or not, seeing you have already, as becomes 
strenuous and faithful Christians, thrown off the ty- 
rannical yoke of antichrist, and asserted your right 
to the sacred privileges of the free kingdom of Jesus 
Christ, so that you everywhere read, write, and pub- 
licly preach at your pleasure ; the spirits of the pro- 
phets jointly hearing and judging, according to the 
apostolical rule. We are aware also, that it gives you 
no uneasiness to know, that you are loaded in foreign 
countries with the heavy charge of heresy, but that on 



the contrary, you esteem it matter of joy and eternal 
gloriation to be the first to suffer reproaches, impris- 
onment, and fire and sword, for the name of Jesus. 
It is therefore plain to us, that, in urging the convoca- 
tion of such a synod, you do not look to the advan- 
tage of the Germans, but that, obeying the apostolical 
injunction, yoii seek the advantage and salvation of 
other people. On this account all Christians pro- 
fess themselves under the deepest obligations to 
you, and especially we of Italy, who, in propor- 
tion to our proximity to the tyrannical court, (alas ! 
we cherish the tyrant in our bosom,) are bound to 
acknowledge the divine blessing of your liberation. 

" We beseech and obtest you by the faith of Christ 
(though you are sufficiently disposed to this already, 
and need not our admonitions) to employ every 
means in your power with the religious emperor, 
and to leave no stone unturned, to obtain this most 
desirable and necessary assembly, in which you 
can scarcely fail to succeed, as his gentle and gra- 
cious majesty knows that this is desired, demand- 
ed, expected, and loudly called for by the most pious, 
learned, and honourable men, in the most illustrious 
cities of Italy, and even in Rome itself ; many of 
whom, we have no doubt, will flock to you, as soon 
as they shall learn that this is the object of your 

" In fine, we hope that this will be willingly 
granted, as most reasonable and consonant to the 
constitutions of the apostles and holy fathers, that 
Christians shall have liberty to examine one an- 


other's confessions, since the just live not by the 
acts of others, but by their own faith, otherwise 
faith is not faith; nor can that persuasion which is 
not produced in a divine manner upon the heart 
be properly called persuasion, but rather a violent 
and forced impulse, which the simplest and most 
ignorant must perceive to be utterly unavailing to 
salvation. But, if the malice of Satan still rages to 
such a degree that this boon cannot be immediate- 
ly obtained, liberty will surely be granted in the 
mean time both to clergy and laity to purchase 
Bibles without incurring the charge of heresy, and 
to quote the sayings of Christ or Paul without be- 
ing branded as Lutherans. For, alas ! instances 
of this abominable practice occur ; and if this is not 
a mark of the reign of antichrist, what is it, when 
the law, and grace, and doctrine, and peace, and li- 
berty of Christ are so openly opposed, trampled up- 
on and rejected ?"* 

The number of persons addicted to protestantism 
in Bologna continued to be great many years after 
this period. Bucer congratulates them on their in- 
creasing knowledge and numbers, in a letter written 
in the year 1541 ; f and in 1545 Baldassare Altieri 
writes to an acquaintance in Germany, that a noble- 
man in that city was ready to raise six thousand 
soldiers in favour of the evangelical party, if it was 
found necessary to make war against the pope. ^ 

That the desire for ecclesiastical reform was as 

* Seckendorf, lib. iii. pp. 68, 69. t Buceri Scripta Anglic, p. 687. 
+ Seckend. lib. iii. p. 579. 


strongly and generally felt through Italy as is re- 
presented in the letter of the Bolognese, appears 
from a measure adopted by the court of Rome at 
this time. Averse to the holding of a general 
council, and yet unable to evade the importunities 
of those who demanded it, pope Paul III. in 1537, 
assembled four cardinals and five prelates * at 
Rome, and charged them, after due deliberation, to 
lay before him their advice as to the best method 
of reforming the abuses of the church. The mem- 
bers of this commission, including some of the most 
respectable dignitaries of the church, met according- 
ly, and presented their joint advice to his holiness. 
Though they touched the sores of the ecclesiastic body 
with a gentle hand, they acknowledged that both head 
and members " laboured under a pestiferous ma- 
lady, which, if not cured, would prove fatal." 
Among the evils which called for a speedy remedy, 
they pointed out the admission of improper persons 
to the priesthood, the sale of benefices, the disposi- 
tion of them by testaments, the granting of dispen- 
sations and exemptions, and the union of bishoprics, 
and of " the incompatible offices of cardinal and bi- 
shop." Addressing the supreme pontiff, they say, 
" Some of your predecessors in the pontifical chair, 
having itching ears, have heaped to themselves 

* These were cardinals Contarene, Caraffa, Sadolet, and Pole; 
Fregoso, archbishop of Salerno, Aleander of Brindisi, and Gibert of 
Verona, Cortese, abbot of St. George of Venice, and Badia, master of 
the Sacred Palace. 


teachers according to their own lusts, not men who 
would instruct them what they ought to do, but 
such as were expert in finding out reasons to justi- 
fy what they wished to do, and who, by adulation, 
persuaded the pope that he was the proprietor of all 
benefices, and might sell them without being guilty 
of simony." * No one acquainted with the politics 
of the court of Rome, will suppose that it was se- 
rious in the proposal to reform even these abuses. 
The Advice was approved of and printed by the or- 
der of Paul III. ; but, instead of seeing it carried 
into execution, he glaringly transgressed its provi- 
sions in various instances, f Nor did the advisers 
themselves testify any forwardness to exemplify their 
own rules. Such of them as were both cardinals 
and bishops retained their double office ; cardinal 
Pole did not think it necessary to lay aside the pur- 

* Wolfii Lect. Memorab. torn. ii. pp. 398419; where the Consi- 
lium is inserted at length, with a preface by Vergerio. It was re- 
printed, along with the letter to cardinal Quirini mentioned in the 
subsequent note, by Schelhorn, who added to it Sturmius's epistle, 
and the correspondence to which this gave rise between that learned 
man and Sadolet. 

f During the last century, cardinal Quirini took occasion, from 
this private council, to extol the exertions of the pope to reform ec- 
clesiastical abuses, in his prefaces to his edition of cardinal Pole's Let- 
ters, and also in his Diatriba de Gestis Pauli III. Farnesii, publish- 
ed at Brescia in 1745. To this two able replies were made : one by 
Joan. Rudolphus Kiesling, entitled, Epistola de Gestis Pauli Tertiiad 
emendationem Eccksice spectantibus, Lipsiae, 1747 ; and the other by 
Jo. Georg. Schelhorn, entitled, De Consilio de emendanda Ecclesia, 
jussu Pauli Tertii, sed ah eodem neglecto. Tiguri, 1 748. 


pie when he became primate of all England ; and 
cardinal Caraffa, when he afterwards ascended the 
papal throne, under the title of Paul IV., put the 
advice which he had given to his predecessor into 
the list of prohibited books. * The protestants, how- 
ever, did not overlook this document. A copy of the 
Advice being sent to Germany, t it was published in 
Latin, with a prefatory epistle, by Sturmius, rector of 
the academy of Strasburg; and in German by Luther, 
accompanied with animadversions, in which, among 
other satirical remarks, he says, that the cardinals 
contented themselves with removing the small twigs, 
while they allowed the trunk of corruption to remain 
unmolested, and, like the Pharisess of old, strained at 
flies and swallowed camels. To set this before the 
eyes of his readers, he prefixed to his book a print, in 
which the pope was represented as seated on a high 
throne, surrounded by the cardinals, who held in their 
hands long poles with foxes' tales fixed to them like 
brooms, with which they swept up and down the 
room. Pallavicini is displeased with this measure 
of the pope, who, " by ordering a reformation of 

* In opposition to a statement by Schelhorn, cardinal Quirini 
maintained that Paul IV. did not condemn the Consilium, but only 
the commentaries which Sturmius and others wrote on it. Schelhorn 
has refuted the arguments of the cardinal, and confirmed his own state- 
ment, in a tract, entitled, De Cunsilio de Emendanda Ecclesia, auspi- 
ciis Paufi III. conscripio ; ac a Paulo IV. damnato. Tig. 1748. 

t Cardinal Quirini at first asserted that it was originally printed 
by the protestants, but he afterwards found two copies of it printed at 
Rome in 1538, by the authority of the pope. (Ut supra, p. 9.) 


manners, acknowledged that deformity existed, and 
added force to the detracting speeches which here- 
tics circulated among the vulgar."* Whether the 
following article of the proposed reform was car- 
ried into effect or not, I cannot say : " Since boys 
are now accustomed to read at schools the collo- 
quies of Erasmus, in which are many things calcu- 
lated to betray uninformed minds into impiety, the 
reading of that book, or any other of the same kind, 
shall be prohibited in seminaries of learning."! To 
this was affixed the name of Sadolet ! Well might 
Melanchthon express a surprise, not unmingled 
with scorn, at this proposal, and at the whole of the 
ridiculous affair. " I have not yet answered Sado- 
let/' says he, in a letter to a friend. " I would 
certainly have written him, if I had had leisure for 
it ; but I am of opinion that the delay will not be 
without its utility in reference to what he is doing. 
Our friends write me from Italy, that he is offend- 
ed at my silence, and that some persons have incens- 
ed him against me ; but he perhaps thought, that 
by one letter sent into Germany, he would, as with 
the music of Orpheus, charm not only me, who, I 
confess, am weak, but all my countrymen, to aban- 

* Storia Concil. Trent, lib. iii. sect. 57, 3. 

t On the margin of that part of the Advice which relates to Eras- 
mus, Luther wrote, Wolte Gott er solte leben ! O that he had been 
alive ! an exclamation expressive, in my opinion, of regret at the re- 
cent death of an illustrious antagonist, blended with delight at the 
thought of the merited castigation which Erasmus, if he had survived, 
would have bestowed on the mitred censors of his favourite work. 
(Seckend. lib. iii. p. 164 J 


don the cause. The only friend of peace at Rome 
was Schonberg, cardinal of Capua, who thought 
that some concessions ought to be made. I looked 
upon him as a person of great moderation, and am 
confirmed in this opinion by the letters which I have 
received from my friends since his death, which has 
produced a great change of counsels. There has 
just been published a ridiculous consultation of the 
cardinals about the correction of abuses, in which 
the colloquies of Erasmus are forbidden to be used in 
schools, and to this consultation were called these 
heroes, Aleander and SadoZet."* What pigmies do 
men of mere letters appear in the eyes of a man, not 
of stern virtue, but of sterling principle ! 

Faenza and Imola were both situated in that 
part of Italy which was called the patrimony of St. 
Peter, and acknowledged the popes as their tempo- 
ral sovereigns. It has been already mentioned that 
the reformed doctrine was introduced into the for- 
mer city:f that it gained admission into the latter 
appears from an anecdote related in a letter of 
Thomas Lieber, (better known, in the controversy 
respecting ecclesiastical discipline, by his Greek 
name of Erastus) who was then prosecuting his 
medical studies at the neighbouring university of 

* Melancth. Epist. coll. 752-3. Sleidan's account of the sentiments 
and conduct of the cardinal of Capua is very different from that of 
Melanchthon. (Comment, torn. ii. p. 117.) 

t See above, p. 65. 


Bologna. An Observantine monk, preaching one 
day at Imola, told the people, that it behoved them 
to purchase heaven by the merit of their good works. 
A boy, who was present, exclaimed, " That's blas- 
phemy ! for the Bible tells us that Christ purchased 
heaven by his sufferings and death, and bestows it 
on us freely by his mercy." A dispute of consider- 
able length ensued between the youth and the 
preacher. Provoked at the pertinent replies of his 
juvenile opponent, and at the favourable reception 
which the audience gave them, " Get you gone, you 
young rascal ! (exclaimed the monk) you are but 
just come from the cradle, and will you take it up- 
on you to judge of sacred things, which the most 
learned cannot explain ?" " Did you never read 
these words, ' Out of the mouths of babes and suck- 
lings God perfects praise?'" rejoined the youth; 
upon which the preacher quitted the pulpit in wrath- 
ful confusion, breathing out threatenings against 
the poor boy, who was instantly thrown into pri- 
son, " where he still lies," says the writer of the 
letter, which was dated on the 31st of December, 

Venice, of all the states of Italy, afforded the 
greatest facilities for the propagation of the new 
opinions, and the safest asylum to those who suffer- 
ed for their adherence to them. Jealous of its au- 
thority, and well apprized of the ambition and en- 

Schelhorni Amcenit. Hist. Eccles. torn. ii. p. 54. 


croaching spirit of the Roman court, the senate had 
uniformly resisted the attempts made to establish 
the inquisition, and was cautious in allowing the 
edicts of the Vatican to be promulgated or carried 
into effect within the Venetian territories. Politi- 
cal sagacity counteracted the narrow views of a 
proud and jealous aristocracy, and taught them to 
relax the severity of their internal police. Venice 
had risen to power and opulence by commerce ; and 
the concession of a more than ordinary freedom of 
thinking and speaking was necessary to encourage 
strangers to visit her ports and markets. This re- 
public was then among popish, what Holland be- 
came among protestant states. She had been, and 
continued long to be, distinguished for the number 
of her printing presses ; * and while letters were 
cultivated elsewhere for themselves, or to gratify 
the vanity of their patrons, they were encouraged 
here, from the additional consideration of their 
forming an important, and not unproductive, branch 
of manufacture and merchandise. The books of the 
German and Swiss protestants were consigned to 
merchants at Venice, from which they were circulated 
to the different parts of Italy ;| and it was in this city 

* See, besides the common typographic authorities, Le Brett, Dis- 
sertatio de Ecclesia Graeca hodierna in Dalmatia, &c. pp. 22, 93. 

t " Bene vale ; et si quando deest scribendi argumentum, vel de 
communibus studiis, vel si quid librorum Germani mancipes nuper 
Venetias invexerint, perscribe." (Csel. Caleagninus Peregrino Morato; 
Epist. lib. xi. p. 158.) 


that versions of the Bible and other religious books 
in the vulgar tongue, were chiefly printed. 

We have already had occasion to notice that the 
first writings of Luther were read in Venice soon 
after they were published. In a letter written in 
the year 1528, the reformer says to a friend, " You 
give me joy by what you write of the Venetians re- 
ceiving the word of God. Thanks and glory to 
God."* In the course of the following year, he was 
in correspondence with James Ziegler, a learned 
man, who possessed great authority at Venice, and 
was favourable to the grand attempt to reform re- 
ligion, though he never joined its standard. f Zieg- 
ler had sent from Venice to Wittenberg, his adopt- 
ed brother, Theodore Veit,^; who acted for some 
time as secretary or amanuensis to Luther, and af- 
terwards became minister of Nurenberg. This is 
the person so often mentioned under the name of 
Theodorus Vitus in the letters of Melanchthon, and 

* Luthers Samtliche Schriften, torn. xxi. p. 1092. edit. J. G. 

t Ibid. p. 1163. Ziegler was the intimate friend of Celio Calcag- 
nini, who has celebrated his talents and virtues in the warmest man- 
ner. (Calcagnini Opera, pp. 61 57, 67, 86.) He was distinguished for 
his skill in Mathematics, Geography, and Natural History, and pub- 
lished the principal works of the ancients on these subjects, with an- 
notations. Schelhorn published his Historia Clementis VII. and pre- 
fixed to it, a treatise Be Vita et Scriptis Jacohi Ziegleri, which con- 
tains curious particulars concerning the learning and literati of that 
time. (Amcenit. Hist. Eccles. et Liter, torn. ii. p. 210, &c.) 

| Buddeus, in his Supplement to Luther's letters, (p. 74.,) reads, 
* misit ad me virum, (instead of Vitum,) fratrem sibi adoptatum ;" a 
mistake which has been corrected by Walch. 


through whom that reformer chiefly received his in- 
telligence respecting the protectants in Italy.* 

An occurrence which took place in 1530, shows that 
there were then numbers in Venice who felt a deep 
interest in the cause of the Reformation. While car- 
dinal Campeggio attended the imperial diet at Augs- 
burg, as papal legate, a report was widely spread that 
he had wrought so far on the yielding temper of Me- 
lanchthon, as to persuade him to submit to the judg- 
ment of the supreme pontiff. This excited great unea- 
siness in the breasts of the Venetians who favoured the 
gospel, one of whom, Lucio Paolo Rosselli, addressed 
a letter to that reformer, conceived in a noble spirit. 
After expressing the high esteem which he felt for 
the person of Melanchthon, and the delight which he 
had received from his writings, he exhorts him, in re- 
spectful language, but with an honest freedom, to 
show himself a firm and intrepid defender of that 
faith to which he had been the honoured instrument 
of winning so many. " In this cause, (continues he,) 
you ought to regard neither emperor, nor pope, nor 
any other mortal, but the immortal God only. If 
there be any truth in what the papists circulate 
about you, the worst consequences must accrue 
to the gospel, and to those who have been led to 
embrace it through you and Luther. Be assured 
that all Italy waits with anxiety for the result of 
your assembly at Augsburg. Whatever is deter- 

* Melancth. Epist. col. 598, 835, &c. Conf. Seckend. Index I. art. 



mined by it, will be embraced by Christians in other 
countries through the authority of the emperor. 
It behoves you and others, who are there for the pur- 
pose of defending the gospel, to be firm, and not to 
suffer yourselves to be either frightened from the 
standard of Christ by threatening, or drawn from it 
by intreaties and promises. I implore and obtest you, 
as the head and leader of the whole evangelical ar- 
my, to regard the salvation of every individual. 
Though you should be called to suffer death for the 
glory of Christ, fear not, I beseech you ; for it is 
better to die with honour than to live in disgrace. 
You shall secure a glorious triumph from Jesus 
Christ, if you defend his righteous cause ; and in 
doing this, you may depend on the aid of the prayers 
and supplications of many, who day and night in- 
treat Almighty God to prosper the cause of the 
gospel, and to preserve you and other champions 
of it, through the blood of his Son. Farewell, and 
desert not the cause of Christ."* In the course of 
the same month, this zealous person wrote a second 
time to Melanchthon, inclosing a copy of the letter 
which it was said the reformer had addressed to 
the legate. If unhappily he had been induced to 
write in a strain so unworthy of his character, he 
exhorts him to evince the more courage and con- 
stancy for the future ; but if it was a fabrication, 
as many of his friends asserted, then he should lose 

" Venetiis 8. 3 Kal. Augusti, anno 1530." Ctelestini Act. Comit. 
Aug. tom. ii. f. 274. 


no time in exposing such a malicious calumny, and 
maintain henceforth a declared and open warfare 
with men who sought to accomplish their ends by 
stratagem and falsehood.* 

Among those who contributed most to propagate 
the reformed opinions at Venice, were Pietro Carne- 
secchi, BaldoLupetino, and BaldassareAltieri. With 
the first, we shall afterwards have occasion to meet 
among the martyrs of Italy. The second, who al- 
so obtained the crown of martyrdom, was a native 
of Albona, of noble extraction, and held in high 
esteem for his learning and integrity. He was 
provincial of the Franciscans within the Venetian 
territories, and in that character had the best oppor- 
tunities of communicating religious instruction, and 
of protecting those who had received it.f It was by 
his advice that Matteo Flacio, a kinsman of his, 
altered his resolution of assuming the monastic 
garb, and retired into Germany, where he became 
distinguished for his learned writings, and the active 
and rather intemperate part which he took in the in- 
ternal disputes which agitated the Lutheran church.^ 

" Cadestin. torn. iii. f. 18. Wolfii Lect. Memorab. t0m.ii. p. 344-5 ; 
where Melanchthon's letter to Campeggio is also inserted. If really 
written by him, it was humble enough. 

f Ritteri Vita Flacii Illyrici, p. 8. apud Gerdes. Ital. Ref. pp. 58, 

J He is usually called Matthaeus Flacius IUyricus. He was the 
principal compiler of the Ecclesiastical History known by the title of 
Centuries Magdeburgenses, and of the Catalogus Tcstium Veritatis. 
An early, and still valuable work on biblical interpretation, entitled 
Clavis Sacras Scripturce, is the production of his pen. His account 
of his own life, under the title of Historia Actionum ct Certaminum, 
which abounds in anecdotes of his time, is exceedingly rare. 


Altieri, though a native of Aquila, a city of Naples, 
had fixed his residence in Venice, where he acted 
for some time as the secretary of the English am- 
bassador to the Venetian republic, and afterwards as 
agent for the protestant princes of Germany. He 
was distinguished for his ardent devotion to the re- 
formed religion, which his official situations enabled 
him to advance in various ways by the epistolary 
correspondence which he carried on with foreign 
courts, by the books which he brought into Italy, 
and by the advice and active support which he was 
always ready to afford to his countrymen who had 
embraced or were inquiring after the truth.* 

The evangelical doctrine had made such progress 
in the city of Venice between the years 1530 and 
1542, that its friends, who had hitherto met in pri- 
vate for mutual instruction and religious exercises, 
held deliberations on the propriety of organizing 
themselves into regular congregations, and assem- 
bling in public.f Several members of the senate 
were favourable to it, and hopes were entertained 
at one time that the authority of that body would 
be interposed in its behalf. This produced a letter 
from Melanchthon to the senate in the year 1538, in 
which he expresses his high satisfaction at having re- 
ceived information from Braccieti, a Venetian who 
had come to study at Wittenberg, that man honour- 
able persons among them entertained a favourable 

* Laderchii Annal. Eccl. torn. xxii. f. 325. Seckendorf, lib. ill. pp. 
404., 578, 614. 
t Gerdes. Ital. Ref. p. 57. 


opinion of the reform of ecclesiastical abuses which 
had been made in Germany. After a short statement 
of the cautious manner in which the reformers had 
proceeded, and their care to repress popular tumults, 
and avoid dangerous innovations, and after suggest- 
ing some considerations to show that various cor- 
ruptions had been introduced into the church, the re- 
former adds : " Such slavery surely ought not to be 
established, as that we should be obliged, for peace's 
sake, to approve of all the errors of those who go- 
vern the church ; and learned men especially ought 
to be protected in the liberty of expressing their 
opinions and of teaching. As your city is the 
only one in the world which enjoys a genuine aris- 
tocracy, preserved during many ages, and always 
hostile to tyranny, it becomes it to protect good 
men in liberty of thinking, and to discourage that 
unjust cruelty which is exercised in other places. 
Wherefore, I cannot refrain from exhorting you to 
employ your care and authority for advancing the 
divine glory, a service which is most acceptable to 
God." * Had Venice been treated by the court of 

* Melanchthonis Epistolae, coll. 150 154, edit. Londini. Schelhorn 
(Amcen. Liter, torn. i. p. 422.) suspects that Melanchthon was not 
on terms of such intimacy with the senators of Venice, as to address 
a letter to them, and is of opinion, that it was addressed Ad Venetorum 
quosdam Evangelii siudiosos, under which title it appears in the Selectee 
Declamat tones of the author, published in 1541, p. 804. But the let- 
ter contains internal evidence of its having been intended for the 
magistrates of that republic ; and Bock states, that he had seen, in 
the Royal Library of Konigsberg, a copy of the original edition, 
printed at Nurenberg, and bearing this title, EpistoJa Philippi 



Rome at this period in the same manner in which 
it was treated by it at the commencement of the 
seventeenth century, it is highly probable that the 
republic would have declared in favour of the Re- 
formation ; and in that case it might at this day 
have possessed its political independance, though it 
should not have regained its ancient glory. 

The gospel was also introduced into the differ- 
ent territories belonging to the republic of Venice. 
At Padua it was embraced by many of the students, 
and some of the professors in the university, which 
was celebrated at that period as a school of medi- 
cine.* At Verona, at Bergamo, and at Brescia, there 
were converts to the reformed faith.f But the great- 
est number of these was to be found in the Ficentino 
and Trevisano, situated in the neighbourhood of 
Venice. In the year 1535, the doge delivered up, 
to the vicar-general of the bishop of Vicenza, a 
German, named Sigismund, to be punished for dis- 
seminating the Lutheran heresy in that diocese, for 
which act of filial obedience his excellency was for- 
mally thanked by Paul III. in a pontifical brief. % 
This example of severity had not, however, the ef- 

Melanchthonis ad Senatum Venetum. It was a presentation copy to 
Prince Albert the elder, who had written on the title-page, " accepi 
d. 17. Julii, a. 1538, per Eliam Plesse, Wratislauiensem ;" which 
proves that the letter was written earlier than has been supposed. 
(Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. p. 398.) 

* Melanch. Epi?t. coll. 373, 443, 758. Preface by Ca?lio Secundo 
Curio, to the Life of Francis Spira, by Matthew Gribaldi, first printed 
anno 1550. 

tGerdes. Ital. Ref. pp. 274, 280, 338, 351. 

J Raynaldi Annal. ad an. 1535. 



feet of arresting the progress of the reformed doc- 
trine, which was patronised, or at least connived at 
and tolerated, by the local magistrates. For in a 
papal rescript addressed to the doge and senate ten 
years after, his holiness represents, that he had re- 
peatedly notified to them by letters and nuncios that 
heresy had sprung up and been embraced by not a 
few in their city of Vicenza, and that the governor 
and magistrates of that place, though instructed by 
them to co-operate with their bishop in extirpating 
it, had hitherto refused to grant that assistance 
which was absolutely necessary to accomplish this 
pious purpose ; so that the heretics had been em- 
boldened, and there was reason to fear that these 
pestilent tenets would take root and spread to ad- 
joining cities, unless prompt measures were taken 
to apprehend and punish the guilty. * 

A letter addressed to Luther in the year 1542 
by Altieri, tl in the name of the brethren of the 
church of Venice, Vicenza, and Treviso," is valuable, 
as evincing the excellent spirit of the writer, and 
throwing light on the state of the protestant inte- 
rest in that quarter, and in Italy in general. They 
felt ashamed, (he said) and were unable to account 
for the fact, that they had so long failed to acknow- 
ledge the deep obligations which they lay under to 
him as the individual by whom they had been 
brought to the knowledge of the way of salvation ; 
whether it was that the suddenness of their eman- 

* Raynaldi Annal. ad an. 15t5. 


cipation had astounded their minds, or whether a 
certain rustic bashfulness and servile dread had de- 
terred them from addressing so grave and holy a 
personage. But now necessity and the urgency of 
their circumstances had driven them to that course 
which ingratitude and culpable negligence had hi- 
therto prevented them from taking. Antichrist 
had begun to rage against them. Some of their 
number had been obliged to leave the country, others 
were thrown into prison, and the rest were in a 
state of trepidation. As members of the same body, 
they looked for the sympathy and assistance of their 
brethren in Germany, at whose call they had come 
forth, and espoused that cause for the sake of which 
they were now exposed to such dangers. What 
they begged of him was, to use his influence with 
the evangelical princes of Germany to write to the 
senate of Venice in their behalf, and to request it 
to abstain from that violence which the ministers 
of the pope urged it to employ against the poor 
flock of Christ, and to permit them to enjoy their 
own manner of worship, at least until the meet- 
ing of a general council, in the way of adopting 
measures to prevent all sedition and disturbance of 
the public peace. " If God grant, (continue they,) 
that we obtain a truce of this kind, what accessions 
will be made to the kingdom of Christ in point of 
faith and charity ! How many preachers will ap- 
pear to announce Christ faithfully to the people ! 
How many prophets, who now lurk in corners ex- 
animated with undue fears, will come forth to ex- 


pound the scriptures ! The harvest is truly great, 
but there are no labourers. You know what a great 
increase your churches had, and what a wide door 
was opened for the gospel, by the truce which, as we 
understand, you have enjoyed for three years. Ex- 
ert yourselves to procure the same favour for us ; 
cherish the common cause ; do your endeavour, that 
by this means the consolation which is by Christ 
may be imparted to us, who daily suffer for Christ ; 
for it is our fervent desire that the word of God 
may be spread abroad, but we have none to feed 
us, unless our want be supplied out of your abun- 
dance." * 

The Milanese, as early as the year 1524, con- 
tained adherents to the reformed doctrine.f Two 
causes contributed to their spread in this country. 
The first was its vicinity to Piedmont and Savoy, 
where the remains of the persecuted Vaudois had 
long found a refuge. The second was the unsettled 
state of the duchy, in consequence of the protracted 
contest for its sovereignty between Francis I. and 
Charles V., and its alternate occupation by the ar- 
mies of the two monarchs; on account of which 
the efforts of the reformers were overlooked. Pope 
Paul III. in a brief addressed to the bishop of Mode - 
na, in the year 1536, states that he was informed that 
there had been lately discovered, in the religious and 
illustrious state of Milan, some conventicles, consist- 

* Seckendorf, lib. iii. p. 401. 

f Erasmi Epistolse, apud Gerdes. Hist. Ref. torn. iv. p. 30. 


ing of noble persons of both sexes, belonging to a sect 
holding and observing the tenets of one friar Batista 
de Crema,by which many heresies, condemned by the 
ancient church, were fostered. His holiness therefore 
commands the bishop, who was then at Milan, to make 
inquisition after these conventicles and heretics, and 
to see that condign punishment was inflicted on the 
guilty, so that the pravity sown by the devil might 
be extirpated before it had time to shoot up and 
strengthen.* Though the "impure tenets of ancient 
heretics" are imputed to those " innovators," accord- 
ing to the usual language of the papal court, there 
can be little doubt that they held the common 
opinions of Luther and Zuingle. 

This part of our history is intimately connected 
with some interesting facts in the eventful and 
chequered life of an individual, who had great influ- 
ence in promoting the Reformation in Italy. Celio 
Secundo Curione, or Curio, was born at Turin in 
1503, and was the youngest of twenty-three children. 
When only nine years of age he was left an orphan, 
but being allied to several noble families of Pied- 
mont, received a liberal education at the universi- 
ty of his native city. In his youth, he was induced 
to read the Bible with more than ordinary attention, 
in consequence of his father having bequeathed 
him a copy of that book beautifully written; and 
when he reached his twentieth year, he had the 
writings of the reformers put into his hands, by 

* Raynaldi Annales, ad an. 1536. 


means of Jerom Niger Fossianeus, and other indi- 
viduals in the Angustinian monastery of Turin. This 
inflamed him with a desire of visiting Germany, to 
which he set out, accompanied by James Cornello 
and Francis Guarino, who afterwards became dis- 
tinguished ministers of the reformed church. Hav- 
ing on their journey incautiously entered into dis- 
pute on the controverted heads of religion, they were 
informed against and seized by the spies of the car- 
dinal-bishop of Ivree, and thrown into separate 
prisons. Curio was released through the interces- 
sion of his relations, and the cardinal, pleased with 
his talents, endeavoured to attach him to himself by 
offers of money to assist him in his studies, and by 
placing him in the neighbouring priory of St. Be- 
nigno, the administration of which had been con- 
ferred on him by Leo X. In this situation, Curio 
exerted himself in enlightening the monks, and 
freeing their minds from the influence of supersti- 
tion. Having one day opened a box, placed on the 
altar of the chapel, he abstracted the relics from it, 
and substituted a copy of the Bible, with the follow- 
ing inscription, " This is the ark of the covenant, 
which contains the genuine oracles of God, and the 
true relics of the saints." This was discovered when 
the box was opened on a solemn festival, and the sus- 
picion having fallen on Curio, he fled and made 
his escape to Milan. This happened about the year 
1530. After visiting Rome and several cities in Italy, 
he returned to the Milanese, where, having mar- 
ried a lady belonging to the illustrious family of the 


Isacii, he devoted himself to the teaching of polite 
letters, by which he gained great reputation in the 
city and vicinity of Milan. The ravages commit- 
ted by the Spanish troops obliging him to quit the 
Milanese, he embraced an invitation from the count 
of Montferrat, under whose protection he resided for 
some years in great tranquillity at Casale.* 

Being persuaded to visit his native country, with the 
view of recovering his patrimony, he found it seized 
by one of his sisters and her husband, who unnatur- 
ally preferred a charge of heresy against him. Up- 
on this he retired to a village in the territories of 
the duke of Savoy, where he was employed in teach- 
ing the children of the neighbouring gentlemen. 
Having gone one day in company with some of his 
patrons to hear a Dominican monk from Turin, 
the preacher, in the course of his sermon, drew a 
frightful picture of the German reformers, and, in 
proof of its justness, gave false quotations from a 
work published by Luther. Curio went up to the 
friar after sermon, and producing the book, which 
he had along with him, read the passages re- 
ferred to, in the presence of the most respec- 
table part of the audience, who, indignant at the 
impudent misrepresentations which had been palm- 
ed on them, drove their ghostly instructor with dis- 
grace from the town. Information was immediate- 
ly given to the inquisitor, and Curio was appre- 

* Stupani Oratio de Caelii Secundi Curionis Vita atque Obitu ; in 
Schelhorni Amcen. Liter, torn. xiv. pp. 328336. 


hended and carried a prisoner to his native city, 
when his meditated journey to Germany, and his 
abstracting of the relics at St. Benigno, were pro- 
duced as aggravations of his crime, and strong pre- 
sumptions of his heretical pravity. As his friends 
were known to possess great influence, the admini- 
strator of the bishopric of Turin went to Rome to 
secure his condemnation, leaving him under the 
charge of a brother of cardinal Cibo, who, to pre- 
vent any attempt at rescue, removed him to an in- 
ner room of the prison, and ordered his feet to be 
made fast in the stocks. In this situation, a per- 
son of less fortitude and ingenuity would have given 
himself up for lost ; but Curio, having in his youth 
lived in the neighbourhood of the jail, devised a me- 
thod of escape, which, through the favour of pro- 
vidence, succeeded. His feet being swoln by con- 
finement, he prevailed on his keeper to allow him 
to have his right foot loosed for a day or two. By 
means of his shoe, together with a reed and a quan- 
tity of rags which lay within his reach, he formed 
an artificial leg, which he fastened to his right knee, 
in such a manner as that he could move it with ease. 
He then requested permission to have his other 
foot relieved, upon which the artificial foot was in- 
troduced by him into the stocks, and his left foot 
was set free. Being thus at liberty, he, during the 
night, opened the door of his apartment, felt his 
way through the passages in the dark, dropt from 
a window, and having scaled the walls of his 
prison with some difficulty, made his escape into 


Italy. As he extracted the fictitious limb from 
the stocks, and took it to pieces, before leaving 
the prison, his persecutors could not account for his 
escape, and circulated the report that he had effect- 
ed it by magic; upon which he published an account 
of the whole affair in a dialogue, interspersed with 
humorous and satirical strictures upon some of the 
popish errors.* After remaining some months with 
his family at Sale, a remote village in the territory 
of Milan, he was drawn from his retirement by his 
former friends, and placed in the university of Pa- 
via. As soon as this was known, orders were sent 
from Rome to apprehend him, but so great was the 
favour in which he was held by the principal inha- 
bitants of the place, and by the students, many of 
whom came from other seminaries to attend his 
lectures, that he was protected for three years from 
the attempts of the inquisitors ; a guard, composed 
of his scholars, accompanying him to and from 
his house every day, during a great part of that 
time. At last, the pope threatening the senate of 
the town with excommunication, he was forced to 
retire to Venice, from which he removed to Fer- 
rara. The labours of Curio were blessed for open- 
ing the eyes of many to the corruptions and errors 
of the Roman church, during his journeys through 

* It is entitled, " Ca?lii Secundi Curionis Pasquillus Ecstaticus, una 
cum aliis etiam aliquot Sanctis pariter et lepidis Dialogis;" without 
date or place of printing. The book was reprinted at Geneva, in 1667; 
which is the edition I have used. The Dialogue relating to his escape 
from Turin, is inserted by Schelhom in the second volume of his 
Amoenitates Hist. Eccles. et Hist. pp. 759776. 


Italy, and the temporary residence which he made 
in several parts of it, especially in the Milanese.* 

Naples and Sicily had for some time belong- 
ed to the crown of Spain, and were now govern- 
ed by separate viceroys under the emperor Charles 
V. In Calabria, which formed one of the depart- 
ments of the kingdom of Naples, the Vaudois 
still existed ; and the doctrine of Luther and the 
other reformers spread extensively in the Neapoli- 
tan territory, and especially in its capital. It is 
supposed to have been first introduced there by 
the German soldiers, who, after the sack of Rome, 
obliged Lautrec, the French general, to raise 
the siege of Naples, and continued to garrison that 
city for some time.f A rigorous edict, published by 
Charles V. in the year 1536, by which he charged 
Don Pedro de Toledo, his viceroy over Naples, with 
the punishment of all who were infected with he- 
resy, or who inclined to it, was intended to extir- 
pate the seeds sown by these foreigners. 

The Germans were succeeded by an individual, 
who, according to the account of a contemporary po- 
pish historian, " caused a far greater slaughter of 
souls than all the thousands of heretical soldiery."^ 
This was Juan Valdez, or, as he is sometimes called, 
Valdesso, a Spanish gentleman, who went to Ger- 
many along with Charles V.,by whom he was knight- 
ed and sent to Naples, where he acted as secre- 

* Stupani Oratio, ut supra, p. 342. 
t Anton. Caraccioli, Collect, de Vita Pauli IV. p. 239. 
X Giannone, Hist. Civ. dc Naples, liv. xxxii. chap. 5. 
Caraccioli, Collect, ut supra. 


taiy to Don Pedro de Toledo. In tracing the pro- 
gress which the Reformation made in Spain, we shall 
have an opportunity o f showing how the religious 
opinions of Valdez were formed. His character was 
admirably adapted to produce an impression favour- 
able to the new opinions. Possessed of consider- 
able learning and superior address, fervent in 
piety, gentle in disposition, polite in manners, 
and eloquent in conversation, he soon became a 
favourite with the principal nobility, and with 
all the enlightened men, who, at certain seasons, 
resorted in great numbers to the Neapolitan me- 
tropolis. Valdez did not take on him the office 
of a preacher, and he is an example of the extensive 
good which may be done by one who keeps himself 
strictly within the sphere of a private station. By 
his private instructions, he not only imbued the 
minds of many distinguished laymen with the 
knowledge of evangelical truth, but contributed ma- 
terially to advance the illumination and to stimulate 
the zeal of others, whose station gave them an op- 
portunity of preaching the gospel to the people, or 
of instilling its docrines into the minds of the in- 
genuous youth whose studies they superintended.* 
Among these were Ochino and Martyr, two indi- 
viduals of whom it is proper to give an account, as 
they produced a strong sensation in their native 
country, and distinguished themselves afterwards 
in the reformed churches on this side the Alps. 

* Caraccioli, ut supra. Giannone, ut supra. Schclhorni Amcen. 
Hist. Eccl. torn. ii. p. 49. Simleri Oratio de Vita Marty ris, sig. b iij. 


Bernardino Ochino, or, as he is sometimes called, 
Ocello, was born in the year 1487, at Sienna, a city 
of Tuscany, of obscure parents. Feeling from his 
earliest years a deep sense of religion, he devoted 
himself, according to the notions of that age, to a 
monastic life, and joined the Franciscan Observants, 
as the strictest of all the orders of the regular cler- 
gy. For the same reason he left them, and in 1534 
became a member of the Capuchin brotherhood, 
which had been recently established according to 
the most rigid rules of holy living, or rather volun- 
tary humility and mortification.* During his mo- 
nastic retirement, he acknowledges that he escaped 
those vices with which his life might have been 
tainted if he had mixed with the world ; and from 
the studies of the cloister, barren and unprofitable 
as they were, he reaped a portion of knowledge 
which was afterwards of some use to him ;f but he 
failed completely in gaining, what was the great 
thing which induced him to choose that unnatural 
and irksome mode of life peace of mind and assur- 
ance of salvation. But let us hear his own account 
of his feelings, and of the manner in which a change 
was first wrought on his sentiments concerning 
religion. " When I was a young man, I was un- 
der the dominion of the common error by which 

* De Vita, Religione et Fatis Bernardini Ochini Senensis ; in Ob- 
serv. Select. Liter. Halenses, torn. iv. pp. 409-414. The author of this 
Life of Ochino was Burch. Gottlieb Struvius. Some popish writers had 
incautiously stated that Ochino was the founder of the Capuchins, a 
heretical blot which their successors were eager to remove. 

+ Ochini Dialogi, torn. ii. p. 374. Basil. 1563. 


the minds of all who live under the yoke of the 
wicked Antichrist are enthralled ; so that I believed 
that we were to be saved by our own works, fast* 
ings, prayers, abstinence, watchings, and other 
things of the same kind, by which we were to make 
satisfaction for our sins, and purchase heaven* 
through the concurring grace of God. Wherefore, 
being anxious to be saved, I deliberated with my- 
self what manner of life I should follow, and be- 
lieving that those modes of religion were holy which 
were approved by the Roman church, which I re- 
garded as infallible, and judging that the life of the 
friars of St. Francis, called cle observantia, was above 
all others severe, austere and rigid, and, on that ac- 
count, more perfect, and conformable to the life of 
Christ, I entered their society. Although I did not 
find what I had expected, yet no better way pre- 
senting itself to my blinded judgment, I continued 
among them, until the Capuchin friars made theirap- 
pearance, when, being struck with the still greater 
austerity of their mode of living, Iassumed their habit, 
in spite of the resistance made by my sensuality and 
carnal prudence. Being now persuaded that I had 
found what I was seeking, I said to Christ, * Lord, 
if I am not saved now, I know nothing more that 
I can do.' In the course of my meditations, I 
was often perplexed, and felt at a loss to recon- 
cile the views on which I acted with what the 
scriptures said about salvation being the gift of God 
through the redemption wrought by Christ ; but 
the authority of the church silenced these scruples, 
and in proportion as concern for my soul became 


more intense, I applied myself with greater diligence 
and ardour to those bodily exercises and mortifica- 
tions which were prescribed by the doctrine of the 
church, and by the rules of the order into which I had 
entered. Still, however, I remained a stranger to 
true peace of mind, which at last I found, by search- 
ing the scriptures, and such helps for understand- 
ing them as I had access to. I now came to be 
satisfied of the three following truths : first, that 
Christ, by his obedience and death, has made a ple- 
nary satisfaction, and merited heaven, for the elect, 
which is the only righteousness and ground of sal- 
vation ; secondly, that religious vows of human in- 
vention are not only useless, but hurtful and wick- 
ed ; and, thirdly, that the Roman church, though 
calculated to fascinate the senses by its external 
pomp and splendour, is unscriptural and abomina- 
ble in the sight of God."* 

In Italy it was not the custom, as in Germany, 
for the regular clergy to preach : this task was per- 
formed exclusively by the monks and friars. The 
chapters of the different orders chose such of their 
number as possessed the best pulpit talents, and 
sent them to preach in the principal cities during 
the time of Lent, which was almost the only sea- 

* Bernardini Ochini Responsioj qua rationera reddit discessus ex 
Italia. Venet. 1542. Ep. Dedic. ; apud Observat. Select. Halenses, 
torn. iv. pp. 412 414. Epistre aux Magnifiques Seigneurs de Siene, 
par Bernardin Ochin. Avec un autre Epistre a Mutio Justinopoli- 
tain, 1541-. This second epistle is a translation of the work first men- 
tioned. See M. Aug. Beyeri Memor. Libr. Rariorum, pp. 259 2G1. 


son of the year in which the people enjoyed re- 
ligious instruction. Ochino attained to the highest 
distinction in this employment, to which he was 
chosen by his brethren at an early period. His ori- 
ginal talents compensated for his want of erudition. 
He was a natural orator ; and the fervour of his 
piety and the sanctity of his life gave an unction 
and an odour to his discourses which ravished the 
hearts of his hearers. " In such reputation was he 
held, (says the annalist of the Capuchins, after O- 
chino had brought on them the stigma of heresy) 
that he was esteemed incomparably the best preach- 
er of Italy ; his powers of elocution, accompanied 
with the most admirable action, giving him the com- 
plete command of his audience, and the more so 
that his life corresponded to his doctrine."* His 
external appearance, after he had passed middle age, 
contributed to heighten this effect. His snow-white 
head and beard flowing down to his middle, with a 
pale countenance, which led the spectators to sup- 
pose that he was in bad health, rendered him at 
once venerable and deeply interesting.! He never 
rode on horseback or in a carriage, but performed all 
his journeys on foot ; a practice which he continued 
after he was advanced in years. When he paid a visit 
to the palaces of princes or bishops, he was always 
met and received with the honours due to one of 
superior rank ; and he was accompanied, on his 

* Bzovius, aputl Bock, Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. p. 185. 
+ Graziani, Vita Card. Commendoni, lib. ii. cap. 9. 


departure, with the same marks of distinction ; yet, 
wherever he lodged, he retained all the simplicity 
and austerity of the religious order to which he 
belonged.* As a preacher, he was admired and 
followed equally by the learned and illiterate, by 
the great and the vulgar. Charles V., who used to 
attend his sermons when in Italy, pronounced this 
high encomium on him : " That man would make 
the stones weep !"f Sadolet and Bembo, who were 
still better judges than his imperial majesty, assign- 
ed to Ochino the palm of popular eloquence.:}: At 
Perugia, he prevailed on the inhabitants by his dis- 
courses to bury all their animosities, and bring their 
litigations to an amicable settlement. And in Na- 
pies, he preached to so numerous an assembly, and 
with such persuasive eloquence, as to collect at one 
time for a charitable purpose the almost incredible 
sum of five thousand crowns. $ 

The fame of the pious and eloquent Capuchin 
was so great, that the most respectable inhabitants 
of Venice, in the year 1538, employed cardinal Bem- 
bo to procure him to preach to them during the en- 
suing Lent. The cardinal wrote to Vittoria Colon- 
na, marchioness of Pescaro, begging her to inter- 

" Graziani, tit supra. 

t Schrockh, Christliche Kirchengeschichte seit der Reformation, 
torn. ii. p. 780. 

J Sadoleti Epist. in Oper. Aonii Palearii, p. 558. edit. Halbaueri. 
Card. Quirini Diatriba, praeftx. Epp. Reg. Poli, torn. iii. p. lxxxvi. 

Annali de' Fratri Minori Capuccini composti dal P. Zaccaria Bo- 
verio da Saluzzo, e tradotti en volgare dal P. F. Benedetto Sanbene- 
detti da Milano, torn. i. p, 411. Venet. 1643. 


cede with Ochino, over whom she had great influ- 
ence, to visit Venice, all the inhabitants of which 
place were inflamed with the most passionate desire 
to hear him.* He went accordingly, and the recep- 
tion he met with is described by the elegant pen of 
Bembo. In a letter to the marchioness, dated from 
Venice the 23d day of February 1539, he says : 
" I send your highness the extracts of our very 
reverend Frate Bernardino, to whom I have listen- 
ed, during the small part of this Lent which is over, 
with a pleasure which I cannot sufficiently express. 
Assuredly I never have heard a preacher more 
useful or holier than he. I do not wonder that 
your highness esteems him so much as you do. 
He discourses very differently from, and in a more 
Christian manner than, any other that has mounted 
the pulpit in my day ; and with more lively charity 
and love, brings forth truths of superior excellence 
and usefulness. He pleases every body above mea- 
sure, and will carry the hearts of all with him when 
he leaves this place. From the whole city I send your 
highness immortal thanks for the favour you have 
done us ; and I especially will ever feel obliged to 
you." f In another letter to the same lady, dated 
the 15th of March, he says : " I talk with your 
highness as I talked this morning with the rever- 
end father, Frate Bernardino, to whom I have laid 
open my whole heart and soul, as I would have 
done to Jesus Christ, to whom I am persuaded he 

* Lettere di Pietro Bembo, vol. iv. p. 108 : Opere, vol. viii. Mila- 
no, 1810. 

t Ibid. p. 109. 



is acceptable and dear. Never have I had the plea- 
sure to speak to a holier man than he. I should 
have been now at Padna, both on account of a 
business which has engaged me for a whole year, 
and also to shun the applications with which I am 
incessantly assailed in consequence of this blessed 
cardinalate ;* but I was unwilling to deprive myself 
of the opportunity of hearing his most excellent, holy, 
and edifying sermons."! And, on the 14th of April, 
he writes : " Our Frate Bernardino, whom I desire 
henceforth to call mine as well as yours, is at present 
adored in this city. There is not a man or woman 
who does not extol him to the skies. O what plea- 
sure ! O what delight ! O what joy has he given ! 
But I reserve his praises until I meet your high- 
ness, and, in the mean time, supplicate our Lord to 
order his life so as that it may endure longer to the 
honour of God and the profit of man, than it can en- 
dure according to the treatment which he now gives 
it." t The following letter addressed by the car- 
dinal to the parson of the church of the Apostles, 
is still more descriptive of the deep interest which 
was felt for Ochino at Venice. " I pray you to 
entreat and oblige the reverend father, Frate Ber- 
nardino, to eat flesh, not for the gratification and 
benefit of his body, about which he is indifferent, 
but for the comfort of our souls that he may be 
able to preach the gospel to the praise of our bless- 
ed Saviour. For he will not be able to continue 
this exercise, nor to bear up under it, during the 

* Bern bo had lately received a cardinal's hat from Rome, 
t Letters ut supra, p. 111. % Ibid. p. 112 


present Lent, unless he leave off the diet of the 
season, which, as experience proves, always brings 
on him a catarrh." * 

These extracts will be considered as sufficient to 
establish the character of Ochino for piety and elo- 
quence ; but there is another reflection which they 
can scarcely fail to suggest. How deceitful are the 
wannest feelings excited by hearing the gospel ! and 
how do they vary with the external circumstances in 
which the truth is presented to the mind ! Bembo 
was delighted with the sentiments which he heard, 
as well as the eloquence with which the preacher 
adorned them ; and yet the future conduct of the 
cardinal leaves us at no loss in determining, that he 
would have felt and spoken very differently, had he 
been told that the doctrine, to which he listened with 
such devout ravishment, was essentially protestant. 
Names exert great influence over mankind ; but let 
not those who can laugh at this weakness flatter 
themselves, that they have risen above all the pre- 
judices by which the truth is excluded or expelled. 
The love of the world outweighs both names and 
things. Provided men could enjoy the gospel with- 
in the pale of their own church, within the circle of 
that society in which they have been accustomed to 
move and shine, and without being required to fore- 
go the profits, honours, or pleasures of life, " all the 
world" might be seen wondering after Christ as it 
once " wondered after the beast." 

* " Alii 12. tli Marzo, 1539." This letter was published, from 
the archives of the Marquis Ugolino Barisone, by Chevalier Jacopo 
Morelli, in his edition of Bembo's works. (Tomo ix. p. 497.) 


In a general chapter of his order, held at Flo- 
rence in the year 1538, Ochino was chosen chief 
director or general of the Capuchins. And three 
years after, in another chapter, held at Whitsuntide, 
1541, in the city of Naples, he was, as an unexam- 
pled mark of respect, and in opposition to his own 
earnest request, unanimously re-elected to the same 
honourable office.* Before Ochino was advanced to 
these honours, or had acquired such extensive po- 
pularity as a preacher, the change in his religious 
sentiments, already described, had taken place.f It 
produced a corresponding change on his strain of 
preaching, which for some time was felt rather than 
understood by his hearers. He appealed directly to 
the scriptures in support of the doctrines which he 
delivered, and exhorted the people to rest their 
faith on the infallible authority of God in his word, 
and to build their hopes of salvation on the obedience 
and death of Christ alone. But a prudential regard 
to his own safety, and to the edification of his hear- 
ers, whose minds were not prepared for the disco- 
very, prevented him for some time from expos- 
ing the errors and superstition by which Christi- 

* Boverio, Annali Capuccini ad ann. 1539, 1541. His official 
designation is expressed in the title of one of his first publications 
" Dialogi Sacri del Rev. Padre Frate B. Ochino, da Siena, Generale 
dei Frati Capuzzini. Venetio, 1542." (De Bure, Partie Theologique, 
p. 432.) 

t Observ. Sel. Hal. torn. iv. p. 416. Caraccioli, Collect, p. 239. 
Giannone, liv. xxxvii. chap. v. Bock, Hist. Antitr. torn. ii. pp. 489 
491- Caraccioli says, that Ochino' s adoption of the protestant te- 
nets was discovered as early as the year 1536. This error has been 
corrected by Bock, who has himself fallen into a mistake in stating 
that Ochino was drawn over to the evangelical party by Valdez in 
the year 1511 ; whereas the latter died in 1540. 


unity had been corrupted. When he came to preach 
at Naples, the sagacious eye of Juan Valdez quick- 
ly detected the protestant under the patched rocket, 
and sharp-horned cowl of the capuchin ; and hav- 
ing gained his friendship, he introduced him to the 
private meetings held by the converts to evangeli- 
cal doctrine in that city. 

Pietro Martire Vermigli* was born, in the year 
1500, of an honourable family in Florence, and re- 
ceived that learned education which had been de- 
nied to Ochino. In his youth he was taught La- 
tin by his mother ; and having, when he ar- 
rived at the age of sixteen, entered, in opposition to 
the will of his parents, among the canons regular of 
St. Augustine, he passed his noviciate in their con- 
vent at Fiezoli, which the liberality of the Medici 
had furnished with an excellent library. From 
this he was sent to the university of Padua, where 
he made great proficiency in philosophy and the 
Greek language. He afterwards visited the most 
celebrated academies of his native country. At 
Vercelli, by the persuasion of his intimate friend 
Cusano, he interpreted Homer ; and at Bologna he 
acquired the knowledge of Hebrew from a Jewish 
physician, named Isaac. Being selected by the Au- 

* His father's name was Stefano Vcrmigli, from whom he is ordi- 
narily designed Petrus Martyr Vermilius, to distinguish him from 
Petrus Martyr Rfei/iolaneji.sis, a martyr after whom he was named, 
in consequence of a vow of his parents ; and also, to distinguish him 
from a learned countryman and contemporary of his own, Petrus 
Martyr Anglerius, (of Anghiera) whose epistles are known to the 
learned, as throwing great light on the history of the early part of the 
sixteenth century. 


gustinians as one of their public preachers, he dis- 
tinguished himself by the solidity and eloquence 
of his discourses at Rome, Bologna, Fermo, Pisa, 
Venice, Mantua, Bergamo, and Montferrat. Hav- 
ing recommended himself to those of his order by 
his talents and labours, he was unanimously elected 
abbot of Spoleto, and soon after provost of the col- 
lege of St. Pietro ad aram, in the city of Naples, 
a situation of dignity and emolument. This was 
about the year 1530, and in the thirtieth year of 
his age. It was at this time, and when he had the 
prospect of certain and rapid advancement in the 
Romish church, that a change took place on his re- 
ligious sentiments, which gave a complete turn to 
his future life. From his youth, as he himself has 
told us, he had a decided preference for sacred stu- 
dies, and having access to the scriptures in the 
convent to which he belonged, applied himself to 
read them with great care, and not altogether with- 
out profit to himself and others.* At a subsequent 
period he fell in with the treatises of Zuingle on true 
and false religion, and on providence, and with some 
of Bucer's commentaries on scripture, which left 
impressions in his mind. These were now con- 
firmed and deepened by the conversation of Valdez, 
Flaminio, and others, with whom he became ac- 
quainted at Naples, f 

* Oratio quam Tiguvi primum habuit : Martyris Loc. Commun. 
p. 7 44. 

t Simleri Oratio tie Vita et Obitu Petri Martyris Verrailii, prjefix. 
ad Loc. Commun. Martyris, sig. b ij, b iij. Gcnev. 1C24. This fu- 
neral oration was republished by Gerdcs, in his Scrinium Antiquarium, 
torn. iii. par. ii. 


Martyr excelled as much in judgment and learn- 
ing' as Ochino did in popular eloquence. To their 
exertions in diffusing evangelical truth were added 
those of John Mollio, formerly mentioned, who now 
filled the station of lector and preacher to the mo- 
nastery of St. Lorenzo at Naples. Ochino employed 
his persuasive eloquence in the pulpit, while Mar- 
tyr and Mollio read lectures, chiefly on Paul's epis- 
tles, which were attended by the monks of differ- 
ent convents, by many of the nobility, and by indi- 
viduals of the episcopal order. They did not fail 
to meet with opposition from the strenuous adhe- 
rents of the established religion, who were support- 
ed by the authority of the viceroy. But such was 
the prudence with which they conducted themselves, 
and the countenance which they received from per- 
sons of the first consideration in the city, that they 
were able to maintain their ground, and for a time 
to triumph over their adversaries. The favourite 
doctrine of Ochino was justification by faith in 
Christ, which, as appears from his printed sermons, 
he perfectly understood, and explained with much 
scriptural simplicity. Purgatory, penances, and 
papal pardons, fell before the preaching of this doc- 
trine, as Dagon once did before the ark of Jehovah. 
An Augustinian monk of Trevigio, probably as 
much with the view of recommending himself to 
his superiors as from any hopes of success, chal- 
lenged Ochino and his colleagues to a dispute on 
these points ; but he Mas worsted and put to silence 
by their superior talents and acquaintance with 
scripture. The church of Koine had long relied 


on the third chapter of the first epistle to the Co- 
rinthians as one of the main pillars of purgatory ; 
and from this passage the monks were accustomed 
to draw their most popular arguments in favour of 
that lucrative doctrine. Martyr did not directly 
attack this doctrine ; but when he came to that pas- 
sage,* in the course of his lectures on the epistle, he 
gave it a quite different interpretation, which he 
confirmed by arguments drawn from the text and 
context, and by appeals to the writings of the most 
learned and judicious among the fathers. This 
view of the passage occasioned great speculation ; 
and the monks, provoked by the favourable recep- 
tion which it met with, and dreading that the most 
fertile source of their gain would be dried up, mov- 
ed heaven and earth against the daring innovator. 
By the influence of the viceroy, and their own re- 
presentations, they obtained an order interdicting 
him from preaching and lecturing. Martyr enjoy- 
ed the favour of Gonzago, cardinal of Mantua, and 
protector of his order, and he was well known to 
the cardinals Contarini, Pole, Bembo, and Fregoso, 
all men of learning, and some of them favourable 
to ecclesiastical reform. Relying on their patron- 
age, he carried his cause by appeal to Rome, and 
succeeded in obtaining the removal of the inter- 

By the blessing of God on the labours of these 
individuals, a reformed church was established in 
Naples, which included persons of the first rank 

1 Corinth, chap. iii. ver. 13 Ij. 
t Simler, Vita Martyris, sig. b iij. 


in the kingdom, both male and female. Among 
these were Galeazzo Caraccioli, son and heir of the 
riiurquis of Vico, and his noble relation, Giovanni 
Francesco Caserta, by whom he was first led to at- 
tend the discourses of Martyr.* 

While the church at Naples was yet enjoying 
peace, and daily increasing in numbers, it was de- 
prived of Valdez, to whom it chiefly owed its plan- 
tation. He died in the year 1540, deeply lamented 
by many distinguished persons, who owned him as 
their spiritual father. " I wish we were again at 
Naples," says Bonfadio, in a letter to Carnesecchi. 
" But when I consider the matter in another point 
of view, to what purpose should we go there, now 
when Valdez is dead ? His death truly is a great 
loss to us and to the world ; for Valdez was one of 
the rarest men in Europe, as the writings left by 
him on the epistles of St. Paul and the psalms of 
David abundantly demonstrate.-]- He was beyond 
all doubt a most accomplished man in all his words, 
actions, and counsels. Life scarcely supported his 
infirm and spare body ; but his nobler part and pure 
intellect, as if it had been placed without the body, 
was wholly occupied with the contemplation of 
truth and divine things. I condole with Marco 
Antonio (Flaminio), for above all others he greatly 

* Ibid. Life of Gal. Caraccioli, pp. 35. 

t These works must have been then in manuscript. His commen- 
tary on the Romans was published in Spanish, at Venice in 1556 ; 
and his commentary on the Psalms at the same place in the following 
year. His countryman and friend Juan Perez, the translator of the 
New Testament into Spanish, prefixed an epistle dedicatory to each. 
(Baumgarten, apud Gerdes. Ital. lief. p. 3U.) 


loved and admired him."* The fervent piety of 
Valdez, and the unspotted purity of his life are 
universally acknowledged. The charge of hetero- 
doxy of sentiment, brought against him after his 
death, rests chiefly on the very questionable ground 
that some of those who were intimate with him 
ultimately inclined to the sect denominated Soci- 
nian ; for it cannot be pleaded that their tenets are to 
be found in his writings, which, we must allow, 
contain some other opinions which are untenable 
or unguardedly expressed.! 

The doctrines of the gospel were most eagerly re- 
ceived in the capital, but they spread also through the 
kingdom of Naples, and even reached the island of 
Sicily. Benedetti, surnamed Locarno from the place 
of his birth, a minister of great sanctity, having 

* Lettere volgari di diversi nobilissimi huomini, p. 33. Aid. 1 543. 

-f- Sandius (Bibl. Antrinit. p. 2.) claims him as an Anti-trinitarian ; 
but that writer puts in the same claim to Wolfgang Fabricius Ca- 
pito, and others, who are known to have entertained very opposite 
sentiments. (Schelhorni Ameenit. Liter, torn. xiv. p. 386. Amce- 
nit. Eccles. torn. ii. pp. 51 53.) If Ochino ever embraced that 
creed, (which some have denied) it was unquestionably long af- 
ter he left Italy. (Observ. Sel. Hal. torn. iv. obs. 20. torn. v. obs. 
1. 2.) Beza, while he expresses his dissatisfaction with some things 
in the Divine Considerations of Valdez, declares that he meant no- 
thing disrespectful to his person, and does not insinuate in the slightest 
degree that he erred as to the doctrine of the Trinity. (Epistohc, 
pp. 43, 276.) Some remarks on the peculiar opinions of Valdez 
will be made when we come to speak of his agency in enlightening 
his native country. The following is the title of the Considerations 
in the Italian, which appears to have been the original edition : 
" Le Cento e Uieci Consideration! de Signore Valdesso, nelle quale 
si ragiona cose phi utile, piu necessarie, et piu perfette della Chris- 
tiana Religione. In Basilea, 1550." 8vo. In the French translation 
of the Considerationi the author is called Jan de Val d'Esso. 


gained the favour of the viceroy, preached the truth, 
under his patronage, to crowded audiences in Pa- 
lermo, and other parts of that island.* The seeds 
of his doctrine afterwards sprung up, and gave am- 
ple employment to the inquisitors. For many 
years, persons charged with the Lutheran heresy 
were produced in the public and private autos dafe 
celebrated in Sicily.f 

Lucca, the capital of a small but flourishing re- 
public, situated on the lake of Genoa, had the honour 
to reckon among its inhabitants a greater number 
of converts to the reformed faith than perhaps any 
other city in Italy. This was chiefly owing to the 
labours of Martyr. Finding, after a trial of several 
years, that the climate of Naples was injurious to 
his health, he left it with the consent of his supe- 
riors, and was chosen visitor-general of the Augus- 
tinians in Italy. The rigid inspection which he 
exerted over them, and the reform which, with the 
concurrence of cardinal Gonzago, he sought to in- 
troduce into the monasteries, created alarm among 
the monks, who contrived to rid themselves of their 
troublesome visitor, by getting him appointed prior 
of St. Fridiano at Lucca, an honourable situation, 
which invested him with episcopal powers. His ad- 
versaries hoped that he would be unacceptable in his 

* Jo. de Mural to, Oratio de Persecutione Locarnensi, sec. iii. et ap- 
pend, no. ii. iii. : in Tempe Helvetica, torn. iv. pp. 142, 181, 186. Two 
viceroys of Naples, Don Pedro Cordova, and the Marquis de Terra- 
nova, one of the grandees of Spain, were forced to do penance for in- 
terfering with the inquisition. (Llorente, ii. 82 88.) 

f Llorente, ii. 123, 129. 


new situation as a Florentine, on account of an ancient 
grudge between the Lucchese and the inhabitants of 
Florence; but with such prudence did he conduct him- 
self, that he was as much esteemed as if he had been 
a native of Lucca. One object which engaged the par- 
ticular attention of Martyr was the education of the 
noviciates in the priory, whose minds he was anxi- 
ous to imbue with the love of sacred literature. 
For this purpose he established a private college or 
seminary, to which he drew such teachers as he knew 
to be both learned men and lovers of divine truth.* 
Paulo Lacisio, a native of Verona, taught the Latin 
language; Celso Martinengho, of the noble family of 
the counts of that name, taught Greek ; and Ema- 
nuel Tremellio, who afterwards distinguished him- 
self as an oriental scholar, gave instructions in He- 
brew. Martyr himself applied the literary know- 
ledge which the young men imbibed from these 
sources to the elucidation of the scriptures, by read- 
ing lectures to them on the New Testament and the 
Psalter ; which were attended by all the learned 
men and many of the patricians of Lucca. He also 
preached publicly to the people ; confining himself 
to the gospels during Advent and Lent, according 
to the usual custom of the monks, but taking his 
subjects from Paul's epistles during the rest of the 
year. By means of these labours a separate church 
was formed in that city, of which Martyr became 
pastor ; and many, including individuals of the first 

* Celio Secundo Curio resided for some time at Lucca, where he 
taught in the university, having been recommended to the senators by 
the duchess ofFerrara. (Stupani Oratio, ut supra, pp. 3L3, 314.) 


respectability in the place, gave the most decided 
proofs of genuine piety and ardent attachment to 
the reformed faith.* 

While these things were going on, pope Paul III. 
paid a visit to Lucca, accompanied by the emperor, 
who was at that time in Italy. It was feared that the 
enemies of Martyr would embrace that opportunity 
to inform against him, and that his life would be 
brought into danger ; but he was not molested, pro- 
bably because it was deemed impolitic and prema- 
ture to attack an individual whose reputation and 
authority were at that time so high among the inha- 
bitants. About the same time, Martyr received a 
visit from cardinal Contarini, as he passed through 
Lucca, on his return from Germany, where he had 
been in the character of papal legate. They had a 
confidential conversation on the state of the church, 
and on the sentiments of the German reformers.! 

The Siennese contained many converts to the 
reformed doctrine. Ochino, in the course of his 
preaching tours, frequently visited Sienna, which 
was his native place. But the person to whom the 
inhabitants of this city were most indebted for their 
illumination was Aonio Paleario, a native of Veroli 
in Campagna di Roma, who was on a footing of in- 
timacy with the most learned men in Italy. About 
the year 1534 he was nominated public teacher of 
Greek and Latin by the senate of Sienna, where he 

* Siraler, ut supra, sig. b iij. 
+ Ibid. sig. b iiij. 


afterwards read lectures on philosophy and Belles 
Lettres. Having studied the scriptures, and read the 
writings of the German reformers, his lectures on 
moral philosophy were distinguished from those of 
his colleagues by a liberal tone of thinking. This 
was not more gratifying to the students than it was 
offensive to those who adhered obstinately to the 
old ideas.* Cardinal Sadoleti, in the name of his 
friends, set before him the danger of his giving way 
to innovations, and advised him, in consideration 
of the times, to confine himself to the safer task of 
clothing the peripatetic ideas in elegant language.f 
This prudential advice was not altogether conge- 
nial to the open mind of Paleario, and the devotion 
which he felt for truth. The freedom with which 
he censured false pretenders to learning and reli- 
gion irritated a class of men who scruple at no 
means to oppress and ruin an adversary, and who 
eagerly seized the opportunity to fasten on him the 
charge of heresy 4 His private conduct was watch- 
ed, and expressions which had dropped from him in 
the unsuspecting confidence of private conversation 
were circulated to his prejudice. He had laughed 
at a rich priest who was seen every morning kneel- 
ing at the shrine of a saint, but refused to pay his 
debts. J " Cotta asserts, (says he, in one of his let- 
ters) that, if I am allowed to live, there will not be 

* Palearii Opera, p. 527. edit. Halbaueri, Jena>, 1728. 

t Ibid. pp. 536, 559. 

% Ibid. pp. 88, 99, 523531, 538543. 

Ibid. p. 545. 


a vestige of religion left in the city. Why ? Be- 
cause being asked one day what was the first ground 
on which men should rest their salvation, I replied, 
Christ ; being asked what was the second, I replied, 
Christ ; and being asked what was the third, I re- 
plied, Christ."* But Paleario gave the greatest of- 
fence by a book which he wrote on the Benefit of 
the death of Christ, f of which he gives the follow- 
ing account in his defence of himself pronounced 
before the senate of Sienna. " There are some per- 
sons so sour, so morose, so censorious, as to be dis- 
pleased when we give the highest praise to the author 
and God of our salvation, Christ, the king of all na- 
tions and people. When I wrote this very year in the 
Tuscan language, to show what great benefits accrue 
to mankind from his death, it was made the ground 
of a criminal accusation against me ! Is it possible to 
utter or conceive any thing more shameful ? I had 

* Palearii Opera, p. 519. 

t This book was printed in 1543 in Italian, under the title II Be- 
neficio di Christo, and was afterwards translated into Spanish and 
French. (Schelh. Amcen. Eccl. torn. i. pp. 155 159. Ergoetz- 
lichkeiten, vol. v. p. 27.) An Account of its contents is given in Rie- 
derer Nachrichten zur kirchen-gelehrten, torn. iv. pp. 121, 235 
241. Vergerio says of it : " Many are of opinion that there is scarce- 
ly any book of this age, or at least in the Italian language, so sweet, 
so pious, so simple, so well fitted to instruct the ignorant and weak, 
especially in the doctrine of justification. I will say more, Reginald 
Pole, the British cardinal, the intimate friend of Morone, was es- 
teemed the author of that book, or a part of it, at least it is known 
that he, with Flaminio, Priuli, and his other friends, defended and 
circulated it." (Amcen. Eccl. ut supra, p. 158.) Laderchio asserts 
that Flaminio wrote an apology for the Beneficio. (Annal. xxii. f. 


said, that since he in whom the divinity resided, 
has poured out his life's blood so lovingly for our 
salvation, we ought not to doubt of the good will of 
heaven, but may promise ourselves the greatest tran- 
quillity and peace. I had affirmed, agreeably to the 
most unquestionable monuments of antiquity, that 
those who turn with their souls to Christ crucified, 
commit themselves to him by faith, acquiesce in the 
promises, and cleave with assured confidence to 
him who cannot deceive, are delivered from all evil, 
and enjoy a plenary pardon of their sins. These 
things appeared so grievous, so detestable, so exe- 
crable to the twelve I cannot call them men, but 
inhuman beasts, that they judged that the author 
should be committed to the flames. If I must un- 
dergo this punishment for the foresaid testimony ; 
(for I deem it a testimony rather than a libel ;) 
then, senators, nothing more happy can befal me. 
In such a time as this I do not think a Christ- 
ian ought to die in his bed. To be accused, to be 
dragged to prison, to be scourged, to be hung up by 
the neck, to be sewed up in a sack, to be ex- 
posed to wild beasts, is little : let me be roasted 
before a fire, provided only the truth be brought 
to light by such a death."* Addressing his ac- 
cuser, he says : " You accuse me of being of the 
same sentiments with the Germans. Good God, what 
a vulgar charge ! Do you mean to bind up all the Ger- 
mans in one bundle ? Are they all bad ? Though 
you should restrict your charge to their divines, still 

* Palearii Opera, pp. 101, 102. 


it would be absurd. Are there not many excellent 
divines in Germany ? But your accusation, though 
full of trifling, has nevertheless a sting, which, as pro- 
ceeding from you, is charged with poison. By Ger- 
mans, you meanEcolampade, Erasmus, Melanchthon, 
Luther, Pomeran, Bucer, and others who have in- 
curred suspicion. But surely there is not a divine 
among us so stupid as not to perceive and confess, 
that the writings of these men contain many things 
worthy of the highest praise, many things gravely, 
accurately, and faithfully stated, repeated from the 
early fathers, who have left us the institutes of sal- 
vation, and also from the commentaries of the 
Greeks and Latins, who, though not to be com- 
pared with those pillars, are still of use for interpre- 
tation. * But do you approve all that the Germans 
have done ?' This, Otho, is like the rest of your ques- 
tions ; yet I will return an answer to it. I approve 
of some things : of others I disapprove. To pass by 
many things, I praise the Germans, and consider 
them as entitled to public thanks, for their exer- 
tions in restoring the purity of the Latin tongue, 
which till of late was oppressed by barbarism and 
poverty of speech. Formerly sacred studies lay ne- 
glected in the cells of idlers, who retired from the 
world to enjoy their repose : (and yet, amidst their 
snoring, they contrived to hear what was said by us 
in cities and villages :) now these studies are in a 
great measure revived in Germany. Chaldaic, Greek, 
and Latin libraries are erected ; books are beautiful- 
ly printed ; and honourable stipends are assigned to 



divines. What can be more illustrious ? what more 
glorious ? what more deserving of perpetual praise ? 
Afterwards arose civil discords, intestine wars, com- 
motions, seditions, and other evils, which, for the 
sake of charity and brotherly love among Christians, 
I deplore. Who does not praise the former ? who 
is not displeased with the latter ?"* 

The eloquent defence of Paleario, of which one is 
at a loss whether to admire most the boldness and 
candour, or the prudence and address, triumphed over 
the violence and intrigues of his adversaries. He 
was, however, obliged soon after to quit Sienna ; but 
though he changed the place of his residence, he 
did not escape from the odium which he had incur- 
red, and we shall afterwards find him enduring that 
martyrdom which he early anticipated, and for which 
it appears to have been his object all along to pre- 
pare his thoughts. We may form some idea of the 
extent to which the reformed opinions had spread 
in Sienna, from the number of individuals belonging 
to it, who, at a subsequent period, submitted to a vo- 
luntary exile on their account, among whom were 
Lactantio Ragnoni, Mino Celso,f and the Soccini, 
who became celebrated by giving their name to a 
new sect. 

ThePlSANOand the Duchy of Mantua were both 
imbued in no small degree with evangelical doctrine. 
Its converts were so numerous in the city of Pisa, 

* Palcarii Opera, pp. 92 95. 

t Giannone, Hist, de Naples, torn. iv. p. 149. Schelhorn, Diss, 
de Mino Celso, pp. 18, 61. 


that in the year 1543 they formed themselves into 
a church, and had the sacrament of the Lord's sup- 
per celebrated among them. * In a brief addressed 
to the cardinal of Mantua in the year 1545, his ho- 
liness, Paul III. signifies, that he had received infor- 
mation, that certain ecclesiastics, as well as illite- 
rate persons and mechanics, in the city of Mantua, 
had presumptuously dared to dispute and doubt of 
matters pertaining to the catholic faith and the sa- 
cred institutions of the church of Rome, to the de- 
struction of their souls and the great scandal of 
others. f 

Locarno is a city of Italy, and the capital of a pro- 
vince or bailiwick of that name, situate on the lake 
Maggiore, in the southern confines of the Alps. It 
was one of four provinces which Maximilian Sforza, 
duke of Milan, in the year 1513, gave to the Swiss 
cantons as a remuneration for the military aids 
which they had furnished him ; and was governed 
by a prefect, whom the cantons sent by turns every 
two vears. Though the territory was small, its inha- 
bitants were possessed of considerable wealth, deriv- 
ed from the riches of the country in their neighbour- 
hood, and from their being the carriers in the trade 
which was prosecuted between Italy and Switzerland. 
So early as the year 1526, the reformed opinions were 
introduced into it by Baldassare Fontana, whom we 
have already had occasion to mention.} The number 

* Simleri Oratio, ut supra, sig. biiij. 
+ Raynaldi Armales, ad an. 1545. 
X See before, p. 38. 


of converts was for some time very small. " There 
are but three of us here (says that zealous and de- 
voted servant of Christ, in a letter to Zuingle) 
who have enlisted and confederated in the cause of 
propagating the truth. But Midian was not van- 
quished by the multitudes of brave men who 
flocked to the standard of Gideon, but by a few se- 
lected for that purpose by God. Who knows but he 
may kindle a great fire out of this inconsiderable 
smoke ? It is our duty to sow and plant : the Lord 
must give the increase."* The seed often re- 
mains long hid in the ground. Twenty years elaps- 
ed before the fruit of the prayers and labours of 
these good men made its appearance ; and it is not 
improbable that, before this happened, they had all 
gone to receive their reward in a better world. In 
the year 1546, Benedetto Locarno returned to his 
native place, after he had been long employed in 
preaching the gospel in various parts of Italy, and 
in the island of Sicily. His exertions to enlighten 
the minds of his townsmen were zealously second- 
ed by John Beccaria, commonly called the apostle of 
Locarno, a man of good talents and excellent cha- 
racter, who by reading the scriptures, without the 
aid of a teacher or any human writings, had discover- 
ed the principal errors and corruptions of the church 
of Rome. To these were soon added four indivi- 
duals of great respectability, and animated by the 
true spirit of confessors Varnerio Castiglione, who 

* Jo. de Muralto, Oratio de Persecutione Locarnensiura : in Terape 
Helvetica, torn. iv. p. 141. 


spared neither time nor labour in promoting- the 
truth, Ludovico Runcho, a citizen, Taddeo a Dunis, 
a physician, who, as well as Runcho, was a young 
man of genius and undaunted resolution, and Mar- 
tino a Muralto, a doctor of laws, and a person of noble 
birth who had great influence in the bailiwick. In the 
course of four years, the protestants of Locarno had 
increased to a numerous church, which was regu- 
larly organized, and had the sacraments administer- 
ed in it by a pastor whom they called from the church 
of Chiavenna.* The daily accessions which it re- 
ceived to its numbers excited the envy and chagrin 
of the clergy, who were warmly supported by the 
prefect appointed, in the year 1549, by the popish 
canton of Underwald. A priest belonging to the 
neighbouring bailiwick of Lugano, who was employed 
to declaim from the pulpit against the Locarnian 
protestants, loaded them with calumnies of all kinds, 
and challenged their preacher to a public dispute on 
the articles controverted between the two churches. 
He was completely silenced on the day of trial ; and, 
to revenge his defeat, the prefect ordered Beccaria 
into prison. This step excited such indignation in 
the city, that the prisoner was immediately enlarg- 
ed, and the enemies of the protestants were obliged 
to wait a more favourable opportunity to attack 

Istria, a peninsular district on the gulf of Ve- 
nice, belonged to the Venetian republic. It is men- 

" Muralto, Oratio, ut supra, pp. 142 144; conf. p. 150. 
t Ibid. pp. 144148. 


tioned separately, ami in this place, because it was 
the last spot which the light of the Reformation vi- 
sited in its progress through Italy, and because it 
gave birth to two distinguished protestants, both of 
whom were bishops of the Roman Catholic church, 
and one of them a papal legate. Pierpaolo Verge- 
rio was a native of Capo d' Istria, and sprung from 
a family which had shared in the literary reputation 
of the fifteenth century. We have already had oc- 
casion to notice him as a young man of promising 
talents and excellent character, who felt a desire to 
visit Wittenberg for the purpose of finishing his 
studies.* Having devoted himself to the study of 
law, he obtained the degree of doctor from the uni- 
versity of Padua, where he acted for some time as 
a professor, and as vicar to the Podesta, and after- 
wards distinguished himself as an orator at Venice.f 
Such was his fame for learning and address, that pope 
Clement VII. sent him into Germany as his legate 
to Ferdinand, king of the Romans, at whose court 
he remained for some years, advancing the interests 
of the court of Rome, and opposing the progress of 
Lutheranism.t On the death of Clement, his suc- 
cessor Paul III. recalled Vergerio, and after receiv- 
ing an account of his embassy, sent him back to 
Germany, where he had interviews with the Ger- 
man princes and with Luther, respecting the pro- 
posed general council. On his return to Italy in 

* See before, p. 31. t Tiraboschi, vii. 37.5-6. 

+ Sleidan (lib. vii. torn. i. p. 395) represents Vergerio as sent to 
Ferdinand in LC30; Tiraboschi says it was in 1532. (Tomo vii. p. 377.) 


1536, he was advanced to the episcopal dignity, 
being made first bishop of Modrusium in Croatia, 
a see in the patronage of Ferdinand, and afterwards 
of Capo d'Istria, his native place. Having gone 
into France, he appeared, in 1541, at the confe- 
rence of Worms, in the name of his Christian Ma- 
jesty, but, as was believed, with secret instructions 
from the pope.* It is certain, that he drew up at 
this time an oration on the unity of the church, in 
opposition to the idea of a national council, which 
was desired by the protestants. 

His mind appears to have received an impression 
in favour of the Reformation during his residence in 
Germany. Protestant writers assert, that the pope 
intended to confer a cardinal's hat on him at his 
return, but was diverted from this by the suspi- 
cions raised against his soundness in the faith. This 
is denied by Pailavicini and Tiraboschi ; but they 
allow that the pope had received information against 
him, as having cultivated undue familiarity with the 
German heretics, and spoken favourably of them ; 
and that, on this account, means were used to oblige 
him to return to Italy, and to convince him that he 
had incurred the displeasure of his superiors. This 
is confirmed by the letters of cardinal Bembo. In 
a letter to his nephew, who appears to have held a 
high official situation in the Istrian government, the 

* This is asserted by Father Paul, (lib. i.) and Sleidan, (lib. xiii. 
torn. ii. 204) but contradicted by Pailavicini, (lib. iv. cap. 12) and 
Tiraboschi. (Ut sup. p. 380.) Courayer supports the former, in his 
notes on Father Paul's History. 


cardinal signifies that he was " in a manner con- 
strained by the bishop of Capo d'Istria to recom- 
mend some of his relations, who, though inno- 
cent, as he alleged, had been thrown into prison." 
This was on the 24th of September, 1541 ; but on 
the 1st of February following, he expresses his sa- 
tisfaction that his request had not been granted ; 
and adds, " I hear some things of that bishop, which, 
if true, are very bad that he not only has portraits 
of Lutherans in his house, but also in the causes of 
certain citizens, has eagerly sought to favour in 
every way the one party, whether right or wrong, 
and to bear down the other.'* 

It was no easy matter for a person in Vergerio's 
circumstances to relinquish the honourable situa- 
tion which he held, and to sacrifice the flattering 
prospects of advancement which he had long che- 
rished. Besides, his convictions of the truth were 
still imperfect. When he first retired from the 
bustle of public life to his diocese, he set about fi- 
nishing a work which he had begun, " Against the 
apostates of Germany," the publication of which 
might dissipate the suspicions which he had in- 
curred ; but, in the course of writing, and of ex- 
amining the books of the reformers, his mind was 
so struck with the force of the objections which it 
behoved him to answer, that he threw away the pen, 
and abandoned the work in despair. He now sought 
relief by unbosoming himself to his brother, Gio- 

* Bembo, Opere, tomo ix. pp. 288, 294. 


vanni Batista Vergerio, bishop of Pola, in the same 
district. The latter was thrown into great distress 
by the communication ; but, upon conference with 
his brother, and hearing the reasons of his change 
of views, especially on the head of justification, he 
became himself a convert to the protestant doctrine. 
The two brothers now concerted a plan for enlight- 
ening their dioceses, by conveying instruction to the 
people on the leading articles of the gospel, and 
withdrawing their minds from those ceremonial 
services and bodily exercises, in which they were 
disposed to place the whole of religion. This they 
were able to effect in a good degree by means of 
their own personal labours, and the assistance of 
some individuals who had previously received the 
knowledge of the truth ; so that before the year 
1546, a great part of the inhabitants of that dis- 
trict had embraced the reformed faith, and made 
considerable advances in the knowledge of Chris- 
tian doctrine.* 

Beside the places which have been specified, ad- 
herents to the reformed opinions were to be found 
at this time in Genoa, in Verona, in Cittadella, in- 
Cremona, in Brescia, in Civita di Friuli, in An- 
cona, in various parts of the Roman territories, and 
in Rome itself.f 

* Sleidan, lib. xxi. torn. iii. pp. 150 152. Ughelli Italia Sacra, 
torn. v. pp. 341, 391. 

+ Gerdesii Specimen Italia? Reformats. Martyris Epistola?. Zan- 
chii Epistolte. Melanchthonis Epistolse. 




Having given a general view of the introduction 
of the reformed doctrine into Italy, and traced its 
progress through the principal states and cities of 
that country, I shall collect in this chapter some 
facts of an interesting kind, which could not be 
fitly interwoven with the preceding narrative. The 
first class of these relates to the disputes unhappily 
introduced among the Italian protestants, by which 
they were divided among themselves, and thus be* 
came an easier prey to their common enemy. 

It is well known, that a controversy arose at an 
early period between the two principal reformers 
respecting the presence of Christ in the sacrament 
of the supper ; Luther insisting that the words 
of institution ought to be understood in a literal 
sense, while Zuingle interpreted them figuratively. 
At a conference held at Marburg in the year 
1529, and procured chiefly by the influence of 
Philip, landgrave of Hesse, the two parties, after 


ascertaining that their sentiments harmonized on 
all other points, agreed to bear with each other, and 
to cultivate mutual peace and good will, notwith- 
standing their different views of this single article. 
But the controversy broke out afresh, chiefly through 
the ill offices of some forward and injudicious friends 
of Luther, and being inflamed by publications on 
both sides, laid the foundation of a lasting division 
between the churches of Switzerland and Upper Ger- 
many. After the death of Zuingle, his opinions 
were vigorously defended by Ecolampade, Bullinger, 
and Calvin. 

The protestants of Italy had been equally indebt- 
ed to the two reformers for the knowledge which 
they had obtained of the truth. If the circum- 
stance of the works of Zuingle having been chiefly 
composed in Latin gave an advantage to his opin- 
ions, by contributing to their more extensive cir- 
culation, this was counterbalanced by the celebri- 
ty of Luther's name, and the numbers of his coun- 
trymen who frequented Italy, and carried his opin- 
ions along with them. It would appear, however, 
that the Italian protestants were generally favour- 
able to the opinion of the Swiss reformer. This 
may be concluded both from their writings, and 
from the fact, that by far the greater number of 
those who were obliged to leave their native coun- 
try sought an asylum in the protestant cantons of 

* Vergerio had more connexion with the Germans than most of 
his countrymen ; and yet we find Paulus Eberus, a professor of Wit- 


That this dispute was warmly agitated among 
the protestants of Modena, Bologna, and other parts 
of Italy in 1541, we learn from three letters ad- 
dressed to them in the course of that year by Bucer. 
This reformer had all along been a strenuous friend 
to peace and concord between the contending par- 
ties. It seems to have been his sincere belief that 
there was no real difference of sentiment between 
them ; and although he evidently inclined to the 
explications given by the Swiss divines, yet in his 
efforts for pacification, he alternately employed the 
phrases of both sides, a method which threw an ob- 
scurity over his writings, and is not the best calcu- 
lated for promoting conciliation between men of 
enlightened understanding. However, the advice 
which he imparted on the present occasion was in 
the main sound, and does great honour to his heart. 
In a letter " to certain friends of the truth in Italy,"* 
he says : " I hear, my good brethren, that Satan, 
who has afflicted us long, and with great defection 
in religion, has begun to disturb you also ; for it is 
said, that a dispute has arisen among you respect- 
ing the eucharist. This grieves me exceedingly. 
For, what else can you expect from this controversy 
than what we have experienced to the great damage 
of our churches ? Dear brethren, let us rather seek 

tenberg, writing of him as follows, in a letter dated June 21, 1556 ; 
" Jam ccenabimus cum Petro Paulo Vergerio, qui fuit Justinopoli- 
tanus episcopus, et nunc vocatus a duce Alberto proficiscetur in Bo- 
russiam. Eum audio non dissimulanter probare sententiam Calvini." 
(Scrinium Antiquarium, torn. iv. p. 713.) 
* " Augusti 17, 1541." 


to embrace Christ in the eucharist, that so we may- 
live in him and he in ns. The bread and the wine 
are symbols, not thing's of such great mystery. This 
all confess ; but God forbid that, on the other hand, 
any should imagine that empty symbols are ex- 
hibited in the supper of the Lord ; for the bread 
which we break is the participation of the Lord's 
body, and not bread only. Avoid strifes of words : 
support the weak. While our confidence is placed 
in Christ, all is well : all cannot at once see the same 
things. Studiously cultivate concord. The God upon 
whom we call is not the God of division. Thus live, 
and advance, and overcome every evil."* In another 
letter to the same persons,f after giving his views of 
the subject, this amiable man adds : " This is my 
opinion on the whole matter in dispute. If I have 
not explained myself with perspicuity, the reason is, 
that from constitution, and owing to the defects of 
my education, I am apt to be obscure and perplex- 
ed, and also that I write in haste, and without the 
helps necessary for discussing such a subject ; which 
indeed appears too clearly in all my writings. I 
desire to avoid giving offence, whenever it is law- 
ful ; yet, were I able, I would wish to explain as 
clearly as possible those things which it concerns 
the church to know. I exhort you, beloved bre- 
thren, to avoid in these questions, with all possible 
care, a spirit of curiosity and contention. Let those 
who are strong in knowledge bear with the weak : 

" Buceri Scripta Anglicana, p. 686. 
t " Anno 1541. 23. Decemb." 


let the weak pay due deference to the strong. We 
ought to know nothing but Christ and him crucifi- 
ed. All our exertions ought to be directed to this, 
that he may be formed more fully in us, and por- 
trayed in a more lively manner in the whole of our 
conduct. You ascribe too much to me. I know my 
own weakness. Express your love by praying to 
God for me, rather than by praising me."* In a 
letter to the protestants at Bologna and Modena, 
he says : " The too sharp contention which has 
taken place among us in Germany respecting this 
sacrament was a work of the flesh. We thought, that 
Luther fixed Christ glorified to earthly signs by his 
too strong language ; he and his friends, on the con- 
trary, thought that we acknowledged and gave no- 
thing in the supper but bread and wine. At length, 
however, the Lord has brought us to a happy 
agreement, both in words and as to the matter ; so 
that both parties should speak honourably of these 
myteries, and that the one should not appear to 
ascribe to Christ what is unworthy of him, nor 
the other to celebrate the Lord's supper without the 
Lord. I beseech you, keep this agreement along 
with us ; and if in any instance it has been injured, 
restore it, imitating our conduct in what is of Christ, 
and not in what is of the flesh : this should be the 
only dispute and contest among saints."f 

But the controversy was carried on with the 
greatest heat within the Venetian territories, where 
the protestants had all along kept up a close corres- 

* Buceri Script. Angl. p. G90. f Ibid. p. 689. 


pondence with the divines of Wittenberg, and where 
also there were individuals not disposed to yield im- 
plicit submission to the authority of any name, how- 
ever high and venerated. We learn this from the 
letter which the excellent Baldassare Altieri address- 
ed, in the name of his brethren, to Luther, and from 
which I have already quoted.* The following ex- 
tract contains also some additional particulars as to 
the state of the reformed cause in that quarter of 
Italy at the period when it was written.f " There 
is another affair which daily threatens our churches 
with impending ruin. That question concerning 
the Lord's supper, which arose first in Germany, 
and afterwards was brought to us, alas ! what dis- 
turbances has it excited ! what dissensions has it 
produced ! what offences to the weak, what losses 
to the church of God, has it caused ! what impedi- 
ments has it thrown in the way of the propagation 
of the glory of Christ ! For if in Germany, where 
there are so many churches rightly constituted, and 
so many holy men, fervent in spirit and eminent 
for every kind of learning, its poison has prevailed so 
far as to form two parties through mutual alterca- 
tion, (for although it behoved such things necessarily 
to happen, yet are they to be guarded against as 
dire, dreadful, and abominable before God) how 
much more is the prevalence and daily increase of 
this plague to be dreaded with us ? With us, where 
there are no public assemblies, but where every one 

* See before, p. 98. t " Kal. Dec. C, 1542." 


is a church to himself, acting according to his own 
will and pleasure; the weak exalting themselves above 
the strong beyond the measure of their faith, and 
the strong not receiving the weak, and bearing with 
them in the spirit of meekness and gentleness, mind- 
ful that they are themselves encompassed with the 
same infirmity and sin, instead of which they proud- 
ly neglect and despise them : all would be teachers 
instead of disciples, although they know nothing, 
and are not led by the Spirit of God. There are 
many teachers who do not understand what they 
say or whereof they affirm ; many evangelists who 
would do better to learn than to teach others ; many 
apostles who are not truly sent. All things here 
are conducted in a disorderly and indecorous man- 
ner." Altieri goes on to state, that Bucer had writ- 
ten them that concord was established between 
the two parties in Germany, and had exhorted 
the friends of truth in Italy to lay aside their con- 
tentions, and with one mouth to glorify him who 
is the God of peace and not of confusion, add- 
ing, that Melanchthon was about to publish a de- 
fence of the agreement. This intelligence, he says, 
had filled them with joy, and on a sudden all 
was harmony and peace among them. But of late 
again, at the instigation of the great adversary of 
the truth, certain foolish and unreasonable men had 
embroiled matters, and raised new disputes and 
contentions. He therefore begs Luther to write to 
them ; for though they were not ignorant of his 

opinion on the disputed question, (to which they 



meant to adhere as most consonant to the words 
of Christ and Paul) and although they relied on 
and rejoiced at the information of Bucer, yet they 
were anxious to be certified of the mode of concilia- 
tion from himself, to whose opinion they paid a 
higher deference than to that of any other indivi- 
dual, and to receive from him the above-mentioned 
defence, or any other books lately published relating 
to that subject or to the general cause. The letter 
contains the warmest professions of regard for the 
reformer, and of solicitude for the success of the re- 
formation in Germany ; " for," says the writer, 
" whatever befalls you, whether prosperous or ad- 
verse, we consider as befalling ourselves, both be- 
cause we have the same spirit of faith, and al- 
so because on the issue of your affairs depends 
our establishment or overthrow. Be mindful 
of us, most indulgent Luther, not only before 
God in your ardent prayers, that we may be fill- 
ed with the knowledge of him through the Spirit 
of Christ, but also by the frequency of your 
learned, pleasant, and fruitful writings and let- 
ters ; that so those whom you have begotten by 
the word of truth may the sooner grow up to 
the stature of a perfect man in Christ. We labour 
here under a great and painful scarcity of the word 
of God, not so much owing to the cruelty and seve- 
rity of the adherents of antichrist, as to the almost 
incredible wickedness and avarice of the booksellers 
who bring your writings here, and conceal them 
with the view of raising the price to an exorbitant 



rate, to the great loss of the whole church. The 
brethren, who are numerous here, salute you with 
the kiss of peace." * 

Luther had it in his power to do much at this 
time for the advancement of the evangelical cause 
in Italy. The flames of persecution were just 
ready to burst upon its friends, while they were 
unhappily become a prey to intestine dissensions. 
It appears that the greater part of the protes- 
tants in the Venetian states were favourable to 
the opinion of the German reformer ; but it is al- 
so evident, that they, or at least the leading men 
among them, were disposed to moderation, to live 
in harmony with their brethren who thought in a 
different manner on the controverted article, and to 
wait till God, who had in a wonderful manner 
brought them to the knowledge of many great 
truths of which they had been profoundly ignorant, 
should " reveal this also to them." They felt the 
highest veneration for the character of Luther, 
were disposed to pay a deference almost implicit to 
his advice, and a single word from him would either 
allay or inflame the dissension which had arisen. 
Unhappily he adopted that method which natively 
produced the last of these effects. In his answer to 
the letter from the Venetian protestants, he not only 
dissipated the pleasing delusion which they were 
under as to a reconciliation having been effected, 
but inveighed in the most bitter terms against 
the sacramentarians and fanatics, as he abusive- 
ly denominated the Swiss divines ; and asserted 

* Seckcndorf, lib. iii. p. 402. 


that " the popish tenet of transubstantiation was 
more tolerable than that of Zuingle."* Nor was he 
a whit more moderate in another letter written by 
him in the following year, in which he stimulated 
the Italians to write against the opinions of Zuingle 
and Ecolampade ; whom he did not scruple to stig- 
matize as " poisonous teachers" and " false pro- 
phets," who " did not dispute under the influence 
of error, but opposed the truth knowingly, at the 
instigation of Satan. "f In addition to this, he caused 
some of his controversial writings against the Zuin- 
glians to be translated and sent into Italy. 

Alas ! what is man ? What are great men, who 
would be thought, or are represented by their fond ad- 
mirers, to be gods? A lie lighter than vanity. Will- 
ingly would I have passed over this portion of his- 
tory, and spared the memory of a man who has de- 
served so much of the world, and whose character, 
notwithstanding all the infirmities and faults which 
attach to it, will never cease to be contemplated with 
admiration and gratitude. But the truth must be 
told. The violence with which Luther acted in the 
dispute that arose between him and his brethren re- 
specting the sacrament is too well known ; but never 
did the character of the reformer sink so much into 
that of the petty leader of a party, as it did on the 
present occasion. Some excuse may be found for 

* Hospiniani Hist. Sacrament. Part. ii. p. 18i. The letter is publish- 
ed in Hummelii Neue Bibliotheck von seltenen Biichern, torn. i. 
pp. 239246. Nurnb. 1775. 

t Luthers Siimtliche Schriften, torn. xvii. p. 2632. edit. Walch. 


the manner in which he conducted himself towards 
those who opposed his favourite dogma in Germany, 
or even in Switzerland ; but one is utterly at a loss 
to conceive the shadow of an apology for his having 
acted as he did in reference to the Italians. Sure- 
ly he ought to have considered that the whole cause 
of evangelical religion was at stake among them, 
that they were few in number and rude in know- 
ledge, that there were many things which they were 
not yet able to bear, that they were as sheep in the 
midst of wolves, and that the only tendency of his 
advice was to set them by the ears, to divide and 
scatter, and drive them into the mouths of the wild 
beasts which stood ready to devour them. This was 
foreseen by the amiable and pacific Melanchthon, who 
had always written in a very different strain to his 
correspondents in Italy ; and who deplored this rash 
step of his colleague, although the mildness and ti- 
midity of his disposition prevented him on this, as 
on other occasions, from adopting those decisive 
measures which might have counteracted in some 
degree its baneful effects.* 

But another controversy had arisen among the 
Italian protestants, bearing on points of vital im- 
portance to Christianity, and calculated, provided 
it had become general, to inflict a deeper injury on 
the interests of religion than the dispute to which I 
have just adverted. This related primarily to the 

* In a letter to Vitus Theodoras, written in 1543, Melancththon 
complains, " quod horridius scripserit Lutherus ad Italos." (Flos- 
pin, ut supra.) 


doctrine of the trinity, and by consequence to the 
person and atonement of Christ; and it extended to 
most of the articles which are peculiar and distin- 
guishing in the Christian faith. 

It has been supposed by some writers, that per- 
sons attached to the opinions of Arius had remain- 
ed concealed in Italy down to the sixteenth cen- 
tury ; and that the fame of the reformation begun 
in Germany drew them from their lurking-places.* 
Some have even asserted that the mind of the well- 
known Michael Servetus was first tainted by inter- 
course with Italian heretics.-}- But there is no good 
evidence for either of these opinions. It is much more 
probable that the Spaniard acquired his peculiar 
views, so far as they were not the offspring of his own 
invention, in Germany, subsequently to the visit 
which he paid to Italy at a very early period of hislife. 
Before his name had been heard of, and within a 
few years after the commencement of the Reforma- 
tion, certain confused notions, sometimes approach- 
ing to the ancient tenets of Arius and Pelagius, 
and at other times assuming a form which bore a 
nearer resemblance to those afterwards called soci- 
nian, were afloat in Germany, and vented by some 
of those who went by the common name of ana- 
baptists. Among these were Hetzer and Denck, 
who published translations of parts of scripture be- 
fore Luther.! In the conference held at Marburg, 

* Bock, Hist. Antitrinit. torn. ii. p. 414. 

t L'Abbe d'Artigny, Nouvcaux Mcmoires, torn. ii. pp. 58, 59. 

J Zuinglii et fficolampadii Epistola?, ff. 82, 197. Bock, Hist. An- 
titrin. torn. ii. pp. 131 136. Ruchat, Histoirc cle la Reform, clc la 
Suisse, torn. ii. p. 509. Hetzer and Denck retracted their sentiments. 


in 1529, between the Saxon and Swiss reformers, 
it was stated by Melanchthon, as matter of com- 
plaint, or at least of suspicion, that the latter had 
among them persons who entertained erroneous 
opinions concerning the trinity. Zuingle cleared 
himself and his brethren from this imputation, with- 
out denying, however, that there might be indivi- 
duals lurking among them who cherished such te- 
nets.* It is not improbable, that, on his return, 
means were taken to discover these concealed here- 
tics, and that being expelled from Switzerland, some 
of them travelled into Italy. We know that the 
reformed church at Naples was in its infancy dis- 
turbed by Arians and Anabaptists ;f but this ap- 
pears to have happened at a later period, and the per- 
sons referred to might be discij>les of Servetus. He 
began to publish against the trinity in the year 1531, 
and there is ground to believe that his books were 
soon after conveyed to Italy.t Though he had not 
formed his peculiar opinions when he was in that 
country, yet he contracted, during the visit which he 
paid to it, an intimate acquaintance with some indivi- 
duals, with whom he maintained an epistolary cor- 
respondence to a late period of his life ; and it is 
known that he was as zealous in propagating his 
notions by private letters as by the press.$ Upon 

* Zuinglii et OZcol. Epist. f. 24. Ruchat, ut supra, pp. 461, 483. 
f Life of Galeacius Caracciolus, Marqucsse of Vico, p. 13. Lond. 

X Sandii Nucleus Hist. Ecel. append, p. 90. Boxhornii Hist. Univ. 
p. 70. 

Calvini Opera, torn. viii. p. 517. 


the whole, I am inclined to think that the antitri- 
nitarian opinions were introduced into Italy by 
means of the writings of Servetus. 

The genius of the Italians led them to indulge in 
subtle and curious speculations, and this disposition 
was fostered by the study of the eclectic and scepti- 
cal philosophy to which many of them had of late 
years been addicted.* Crude and indigested as 
the new theories respecting the trinity and colla- 
teral topics were, they fell in with this predisposi- 
tion ; and some of the protestants found themselves 
entangled, before they were aware, in the mazes of 
an intricate and deceitful theology, into which they 
had entered for the sake of intellectual exercise and 
amusement. This happened chiefly within the ter- 
ritories of Venice, where the friends of the Refor- 
mation were numerous, and yet not organized into 
congregations, nor placed under the superintendence 
of regular teachers, f 

The letter addressed by Melanchthon to the se- 

* Illgen, Vita Ln?lii Socini, p. 7. Lips. 1814. Melanchthon speaks 
repeatedly of the platonic and sceptical theories with which he found 
the minds of his Italian correspondents and acquaintance enamoured. 
(Epist. coll. 852, 941.) And Calvin, speaking of that vain curiosity 
and insatiable desire of novelty, which leads many into pernicious er- 
rors, says: " In I talis, propter rarum acumen, magis eminet." (Opera, 
torn. viii. p. .510.) 

f Altieri's letter, as quoted above, pp. 143, 144; Bock (Hist. Antitr. 
ii. 405) refers to the academy at Venice, and its form and constitution, 
which allowed great liberty in starting doubts, and examining opi- 
nions, as confirming the accounts of the rise of Socinianism in that 
state. But the learned writer does not appear to have been aware, 
that academies of this description, and founded on the same princi- 
ples, were in that age common throughout Italy. 


liate of Venice in the year 1538, and from which a 
quotation has already been made, shows that the 
antitrinitarian tenets had then gained admission in- 
to that state.* " I know, (says he) that very differ- 
ent judgments have always prevailed in the world 
respecting religion, and that the devil has been in- 
tent from the beginning on sowing impious doc- 
trines, and inciting men of curious and depraved 
minds to corrupt and overthrow the truth. Aware 
of the dangers arising from this to the church, we 
have been careful to keep within due bounds ; and 
while we have rejected certain errors more recently 
introduced, have not departed from the apostolical 
writings, from the Nicene and Athanasian creeds, 
nor even from the ancient consent of the catholic 
church. I understand there has lately been intro- 
duced among you a book of Servetus, who has re- 
vived the error of Samosatenus, condemned by the 
primitive church, and seeks to overthrow the doc- 
trine of the two natures in Christ by denying that 
the Word is to be understood of a person, when 
John says, In the beginning was the word.' Al- 
though my opinion on that controversy is already 
in print, and I have condemned the sentiment of 
Servetus by name in my Common Places, yet I 

* Bock, in giving an account of this letter, has expressed himself 
in such a way as may lead his reader to think that Melanchthon had 
signified his having heard that above forty persons in the city and 
territories of Venice, distinguished by their rank and talents, had 
embraced Servctianism. (Hist. Antitr. ii. 4-07.) Nothing of that 
kind appears in the copy of that letter which is now before me. 


have thought it proper at present to admonish and 
obtest you to use your utmost exertions to persuade 
persons to avoid, reject, and execrate that impious 
tenet." Having advanced some considerations in sup- 
port of the orthodox doctrine on that head, he adds, 
" I have written these things more largely than 
the bounds of a letter admit, but too briefly, consi- 
dering the importance of the subject. My object 
was to let you know my opinion, not to enter at 
length into the controversy ; but if any one desires 
this, I shall be ready to discuss the question more 
copiously."* The representations of Melanchthon 
failed in checking the progress of these opinions. 
In a letter to Camerarius, written in 1544, he says : 
" I send you a letter of Vitus, and another written 
from Venice, which contains disgraceful narratives ; 
but we are admonished, by these distressing exam- 
ples, to preserve discipline and good order with the 
greater care and unanimity."t And in another let- 
ter to the same correspondent, dated on the 31st 
of May 1545, he writes : " I yesterday returned 
an answer to the theological question of the Italians, 
transmitted by Vitus last winter. Italian theology 
abounds with platonic theories ; and it will be no 
easy matter to bring them back, from that vain- 
glorious science of which they are so fond, to truth 
and simplicity of explication.^ 

Sociuian writers have fixed the origin of their 
sect at this period. According to their account, 

* Melanch. Epist. coll. 150 lot. t Ibid. col. 835. 

t Ibid. col. 852. 


upwards of forty individuals of great talents and 
learning were in the habit of meeting in private 
conferences or colleges within the territories of 
Venice, and chiefly at Vicenza, to deliberate on the 
plan of forming a purer faith, by discarding a num- 
ber of opinions held by protestants as well as pa- 
pists ; but these meetings, being discovered by the 
treachery of an individual, were dispersed in the 
year 1546; some of the members having been thrown 
into prison, and others forced to flee into foreign 
countries. Among the latter were Laelius Socinus, 
Camillus Siculus, Franciscus Niger, Ochino, Alci- 
ati, Gentilis, and Blandrata. These writers have 
gone so far as to present us with a creed or system 
of doctrine agreed upon by the collegiates of Vi- 
cenza, as the result of their joint inquiries and dis- 
cussion. * 

Historians distinguished for their research and 
discrimination have rejected this narrative, which, 
it must be confessed, rests on very doubtful autho- 
rity, t It was first published a century after the 

* Lubieniecii Hist. Reform. Polonica 1 , pp. 38, 39. Sandii Bibl. 
Antitrin. p. 18; et Wissowatii Narratio aclnex. pp. 209, 210. 

f Mosheim, (Eccles. Hist. cent. xvi. sect. iii. part ii. chap. iv. 3,) 
and Fueslin, (Beytrage zur Erlauterung der Kirchen-refor. Geschich- 
ten des Schweizerlandes, torn. iii. p. 327,) do not consider the narra- 
tive as entitled to credit. Bock, (Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. pp. 404 416,) 
andlllgen (Vita Ladii Socini, pp. 8 14,) admit its general truth, while 
they acknowledge its incorrectness as to particular facts. A modern 
writer has pronounced Mosheim's reasons " extremely weak," and "ex- 
tremely frivolous;" and maintains the opposite opinion on the grounds 
which Bock has laid down in his history of the Antitrinitarians. 
(Rces's Historical Introduction to the Racovian Catechism, pp. xx 


time to which it refers, and by foreigners and per- 
sons far removed from the sources of information. 
No trace of the Vicentine colleges, as they have 
been called, has been found, after the. most accurate 
research, in the contemporary history of Italy, or 
in the letters and other writings of learned men, 
popish, protestant, or socinian, which have since 
been brought to light. No allusion is made to the 
subject by Faustus Socinus in any part of his works, 
or by the Polish knight, who wrote his life. * The 
ambitious designation of " colleges," applied to the 
alleged meetings, is suspicious ; while the mistakes 
respecting the individuals who are said to have com- 
posed them, give to the whole narrative the air of at 
best a story made up of indistinct and ill-understood 

xxiv.) Bock was an industrious and trust- worthy collector, but very 
inferior in critical acumen to Mosheim, and he has brought forward 
no fact in support of his opinion which was not known to his prede- 

* Lubieniecius professes to have taken the account " ex Lalii So- 
cini vita? Curriculo, et Budzinii comment. MSS." But he does not 
quote the words of these documents, which were never given to the 
world. Mr. Rees says, " Andrew Wissowatius may himself be re- 
garded in the light of an original authority." (Ut Supra, p. xxii.) 
But how a writer, who was born in 1608, could be an original autho- 
rity for what happened in 1546, it is difficult to comprehend; nor does 
Wissowatz pretend to have taken this fact from any original documents 
of his grandfather, Faustus Socinus, which, if they had existed, would 
undoubtedly have been communicated to Samuel Pryzcovius, when 
he undertook to write the life of the founder of the sect. The work 
of Pryzcovius was translated into English, and published under the 
following title : " The Life of that incomparable man, Faustus So- 
cinus Sc?icnsis, described by a Polonian Knight. London, printed 
for Richard Moone, at the Seven Stars, 1653." The epistle to the 
reader is subscribed " J. B." ; i. c John Biddle. 


traditionary reports. Ochino, Caraillo, and Niger, 
had left Italy before these assemblies are represented 
as having existed, and the writings which the first 
of these continued for many years after that pe- 
riod to publish, coincided exactly with the sentiments 
of the Swiss reformers. Lselius Socinus belonged to 
Sienna ; there is no evidence of his having resided 
at Venice ; and, although we should suppose that 
he visited that place occasionally, it is not probable 
that a young man of twenty-one could possess that 
authority in these assemblies which is ascribed to 
him by the narrative we are examining. Besides, 
the part assigned to him is at variance with the 
whole of his conduct after he left his native coun- 
try. Though it is evident that his mind was tinc- 
tured with the tenets afterwards called socinian, yet 
so far was he from courting the honours and dan- 
gers of a heresiarch, that he uniformly propounded 
his opinions in the shape of doubts or difficulties 
which he was anxious to have removed ; and he 
continued till his death, notwithstanding the suspi- 
cions of heterodoxy which he had incurred, to keep 
up a friendly intercourse, not only with his coun- 
trymen, Martyr and Zanchi, but with Melanchthon, 
Bullinger, and even Calvin. The assemblies sup- 
pressed within the Venetian territories in the 
year 1546, were those of the protestants in ge- 
neral ; and it was as belonging to these, and 
not as forming a distinct sect, that the friends 
of Servetus were at that time exposed to suf- 


fering. Such are the reasons which incline me 
to reject the narrative of the socinian historians. 

But while there is no good ground for thinking that 
the favourers of the anti-trinitarian tenets in Italy 
had formed themselves into societies, or digested a 
regular system of belief, it is undeniable that a 
number of the Italian protestants were, at the time 
referred to, infected with these errors ; and it is high- 
ly probable that they were accustomed to confirm 
one another in the belief of them when they occa- 
sionally met, and perhaps to introduce them as topics 
of discussion into the common meetings of the pro- 
testants, and by starting objections, to shake the 
convictions of such as adhered to the commonly re- 
ceived doctrines. This was exactly the line of con- 
duct pursued by them after they left their native 
country, especially in the Grisons, where the expa- 
triated Italians first took refuge. Soon after their 
arrival, disputes arose in the Grison churches re- 
specting the trinity, the merit of Christ's death, 
the perfection of the saints in this life, the necessity 
and use of the sacraments, infant baptism, the re- 
surrection of the body, and similar articles, in which 
the chief opponents of the common doctrine, both 
privily and openly, were natives of Italy, several of 
whom afterwards propagated their peculiar opinions 
in Transylvania and Poland.* Subsequently to 
the year 1546, adherents to anti-trinitarianism were 

De Porta, Hist. Ref. Eccles. Rhrcticarum ; apvulBock, Hist. An- 
titrin. torn. ii. pp. 410, 411. Schelhornii Mino Cclso Se- 
nensi, pp. 31 36, 44 1-7. 


still to be found in Italy. Such of them as had fled 
maintained a correspondence with their friends at 
home, and made converts to their opinions by means 
of their letters. * About the year 1553, the learn- 
ed visionary, William Postel, published at Venice 
an apology for Servetus, in which he mentions, that 
this heresiarch had many favourers among the Ita- 
lians, j- And in the year 1555, pope Paul IV. issued 
a bull against those who denied the doctrine of the 
trinity, the proper divinity of Christ, and redemption 
by his blood, f I close this part of the subject with 
the words of a learned and judicious Italian, who 
left his native country for the gospel, and laboured 
with great zeal, and not without success, in oppos- 
ing the spread of this heresy. " It is not difficult 
to divine," says he, " whence this evil sprung, and 
by whom it has been fostered. Spain produced the 
hen ; Italy hatched the eggs ; and we in the Gri- 
sons now hear the chicks pip." 

Another class of facts which I have thought de- 
serving of a place in this chapter, relates to illus- 
trious females who favoured the new opinions, al- 
though their names are not associated with any 
public transaction in the progress of the Reforma- 
tion through Italy. The literary historians of Italy 

" Ulgen, Vita Ladii Socini, p. 58. 
t Bock, ut supra, pp. 539 542. 

t Bullarium Romanum ab Angel. Mar. Cherubino, torn. i. p. 590. 
Zancbius, apud Bock, ut supra, p- 415. I have not observed 
these words in the writings of Zanchi. 


have dwelt with enthusiasm and pride on such of 
their countrywomen as distinguished themselves by 
patronising or cultivating literature and the fine 
arts. Their proficiency in sacred letters and in the 
practice of piety, is certainly not less to their hon- 
our. It has been mentioned by a modern historian, 
that any piety which existed in Italy at the close 
of the fifteenth century, was to be found among the 
female part of the population. * A writer who 
flourished in the middle of the following century, 
and whose religion was of a more enlightened kind 
than that which usually prevails in the cloister, 
gives the following account of what he had observ- 
ed. " In our age we behold the admirable specta- 
cle of women (whose sex is more addicted to vanity 
than learning) having their minds deeply imbued 
with the knowledge of heavenly doctrine. In Cam- 
pania, where I now write, the most learned preacher 
may become more learned and holy by a single con- 
versation with some women. In my native coun- 
try of Mantua, too, I found the same thing, and 
were it not that it would lead me into a digression, 
I could dilate with pleasure on the many proofs 
which I received, to my no small edification, of an 
unction of spirit and fervour of devotion in the sis- 
terhood, such as I have rarely met with in the most 
learned men of my profession." f The female 
friends of the truth in Italv, whose names have 

* Sismondi, Hist, ties Rep. d'ltalie, torn. vii. p. 238. 

t Folengius in Psalmos ; apud Gerdesii Ital. Ref. p. 2G1. 


come down to us, were chiefly of the higher ranks, 
and had not taken the veil. 

The first place is due here to Isabella Manricha of 
Bresegna, who embraced the reformed doctrine at 
Naples under Valdez, and exerted herself zealously 
in promoting it. Having given proofs of invinci- 
ble fortitude by resisting the solicitations and threats 
of her friends, this lady, finding that it behoved her 
either to sacrifice her religion or her native country, 
retired into Germany, from which she repaired to 
Zurich, and finally settled at Chiavenna in the Gri- 
sons, where she led a life of poverty and retirement 
with as much cheerfulness as if she had never known 
what it was to enjoy affluence and honours. * 

One of the greatest female ornaments of the re- 
formed church in Italy was Lavinia della Rovere, 
daughter-in-law to the celebrated Camillo Ursino, 
" than whom I know not a more learned, or, what 
is still higher praise, a more pious woman in Italy," 
says Olympia Morata. The epistolary corres- 
pondence carried on between these two female 
friends is highly honourable to both. We learn 
from it the interesting fact, that Lavinia, while 
she resided at the court of Rome, not only kept her 
conscience unspotted, but employed the influence of 

" Simleri Oratio, ut supra, sig. b iij. Bock, ii. 524. 'To this lady 
Celio Secundo Curio dedicated the first edition of the works of Olym- 
pia Fulvia Morata. (Noltenius, Vita Olympiae, pp. 8, 119. edit. 
Hesse.) Ochino's work De Corporis Christi Prwsentia in Ccencc Sa- 
cramento, is also dedicated " Illustri et pise foeminae Isabella? Man- 
richa- Bresegna?." 


her father-in-law, which was great, with the pope 
and catholic princes, in behalf of the protestants 
who fell into the hands of the inquisition. From 
various hints dropped in the course of the corres- 
pondence, it is evident that she felt her situation ex- 
tremely delicate and painful, most probably from 
the importunities of her husband, and the ruder at- 
tempts of her other relations, to induce her to conform 
to the established religion ; but these served only 
to call forth her patience and magnanimity. * It 
requires both reflection and sensibility to form a 
proper estimate of the trials which a distinguished 
female must endure when placed in the circumstances 
of Lavinia della Rovere. A cup of cold water, or 
even a kind message, sent to a prisoner in the cells 
of the inquisition, a word spoken in behalf of the 
truth, or a modest refusal to be present at a su- 
perstitious festival, afford, in such cases, a stronger 
and more unequivocal proof of a devoted soul, than 
the most flaming professions, or a fortune expended 
for religious purposes, by one who lives in a free 
country, and is surrounded by persons who are 
friendly to the gospel. 

By the same letters we are authorized to record 
among the friends of the reformed doctrine two fe- 
males of the Ursini family, Madonna Maddelena, 
and Madonna Cherebina ; f as also Madonna He- 
lena Rangone of Bentivoglio, % who appears to have 

* Opera Olympian F. Moratse, pp. 8992, 105, 107, 121, 123. 
f Ibid. pp. 92, 212222. 
% Ibid. p. 102. 



belonged to the noble family of that name in Mo- 
dena, which had long been distinguished, both on 
the male and female side, for the cultivation and 
patronage of learning. * 

Julia Gonzago, duchess of Trajetto, and coun- 
tess of Fondi, in the kingdom of Naples, is ranked 
among " illustrious women, suspected of heretical 
pravity."f She was the sister of Luigi II. conte di 
Sabioneta, a nobleman celebrated for his knowledge 
of letters, as well as for his valour, and who was 
surnained Rodomonte, from his having killed a Moor- 
ish champion in battle. Julia Gonzago is comme- 
morated, by Ortensio Landi, among the learned la- 
dies of Italy, and her name often occurs in writings 
of that age4 After the death of her husband, Ves- 
pasiano Colonna, she remained a widow, and exhi- 
bited a pattern of the correctest virtue and piety. 
She was esteemed one of the most beautiful women 
in Italy ; and Brantome relates, that Solyman, the 
Turkish emperor, having given orders to Hariadan 

* The letters of Girolamo Muzio, the great opponent of heresy in 
his time, throw light on what is mentioned in the text. In a letter 
to Lucrezia, the wife of Count Claudio Rangone, he expresses his 
apprehensions lest that lady should buffer herself to be ensnared by 
the new heresy, and points to an enemy whcm she had in her house. 
In another letter he expresses the joy which he felt at hearing that 
his fears were unnecessary. Both letters were written in 1547. 
(Muzio, Lettere ; apud Tiraboschi, torn. vii. p. 100.) The families 
of Rangone and Bentivoglio were allied by frequent intermarriages. 
(Ibid. pp. 90, 93, 96.) 

+ Thuani Hist. lib. xxxix. cap. 2. 

% Tiraboschi, torn. vii. p. 1195. Ab. Bettinelli, Delle Lettere ed 
Arte Montovane, p. 89. 


Barbarossa, the commander of his fleet, to seize her, 
a party of Turks landed during- the night, and 
took possession of the town of Fondi ; but the 
duchess, though at the risk of her life, eluded their 
search, and made her escape.* She was a disciple 
of Valdez,f and continued, after his death, to enter- 
tain and protect the preachers of the new doctrine ; 
on which account she incurred the displeasure of the 
pope to such a degree, that the fact of having cor- 
responded with her by letters, was made a ground 
of criminal charge against individuals, on trials for 

heresy 4 

I place Vittoria Colonna last, because the claims 
of the protestants to the honour of her name have 
been strongly contested. She was the daughter of 
Fabrizio Colonna, grand constable of Naples, and 
of Anne de Montefeltro, daughter of Federigo, duke 
of Urbino ; and having been deprived of her hus- 
band, Fernando Davalos, marquis of Pescara, in the 
flower of youth, she dedicated her life to sacred 
studies, and retirement from the gay world, with- 
out, however, entangling herself with the vow. The 
warmest tribute of praise was paid to the talents 
and virtues of this lady, by the first writers cf her 
age. " In Tuscan song, (says one of them,) she 
was inferior only to Petrarch ; and in her elegiac 

* Vies des D;imes Illustres, p. 282. 

t Valdez dedicated to her his Commentaries on the Psalms, and on 
the Epistle to the Romans. 

X Laderchii Annales, torn. xxii. p. 325. Thuanus, ut supra. 

Schelhorn has collected a number of these in his Amcenit. Hist. 
Eccles. torn. ii. pp. 132134. See also Tiraboschi, torn. vii. pp. 


poems on the death of her husband, she has beauti- 
fully expressed her contempt of the world, and the 
ardent breathings of her soul after the blessedness 
of heaven."* The marchioness associated with the 
reformers at Naples, and was regarded as one of 
their most distinguished disciples.t When Ochino, 
for whom she felt the deepest veneration,^; deserted 
the church of Rome, great apprehensions were en- 
tertained that she would follow his example ; and 
cardinal Pole, who watched over her faith with the 
utmost jealousy, exacted from her a promise that 
she would not read any letters which might be ad- 
dressed to her by the fascinating ex-capuchin, or at 
least would not answer them without consulting him 
or cardinal Cervini. This appears from a letter to 
Cervini, afterwards pope Marcellus II , in which she 
says, that, from her knowledge of "Monsegnor d'lng- 
helterra," she was convinced she could not err in 
following his advice, and had therefore obeyed his 
directions, by transmitting a packet sent her from 
Bologna by " Fra Belardin." Her highness adds, 
in a postscript, (which may be considered as a proof 
that her new advisers had succeeded in alienating: 

* Toscanus, in Peplo I talis. 

t Giannone, 1. xxxii. c. 5. Thuani Hist, ad an. 1566. The testi- 
mony of these writers is confirmed by a letter concerning her, written 
in 1538, by Casper Cruciger, to Theodorus Vitus, and published in 
Hummelii Neue Bibliotheck von seltenen Biichern, Band ii. p. 126. 
To an Italian version of Beza's Confession of faith, printed (probably 
at Geneva) in 1560, the translator, Francesco Cattani, prefixed " Son- 
etto della Illustriss. Marchesana di Pescaro xxxiiii. nel suo libro 
stampato, col quale sfida i Papisti al combattere, mostranda la lor ma- 
la causa." 

X See before, p. 112, &c. 


her mind from Ochino, and confirming her attach- 
ment to the church of Home :) " f am grieved to 
see, that the more he thinks to excuse himself, he 
condemns himself the more, and the more he be- 
lieves he will save others from shipwreck, the 
more he exposes himself to the deluge, being out of 
the ark, which saves and gives security."* 

The last class of miscellaneous facts, which I 
have to state as throwing light on the progress 
of the Reformation in Italy, relates to those 
learned men who never left the communion of 
the church of Rome, but were favourable, in 
a greater or less degree, to the views and senti- 
ments of the reformers. These may be subdi- 
vided into three classes. The first consisted of per- 
sons who were convinced of the great corruptions 
which reigned not only in the court of Rome, but ge- 
nerally among all orders in the catholic church ; and 
who, though they did not agree with the reformers in 
their doctrinal articles, yet cherished the hope that 
their opposition, and the schism which it threatened, 
would force the clergy to correct abuses which 
could no longer be either concealed or defended. 
The second class comprehended those who were 
of the same sentiments with the reformers as 
to the leading doctrines of the gospel which had 

* This letter was first published by Tiraboschi, (Storia, torn. vii. p. 
118,) from the archives of the noble family of Cervini at Sienna, as a 
confirmation of the statement of cardinal Quirini, in his Diatribe ad 
vol iii. Epist. Card. Poli, p. 58, &C. 


been brought into dispute, but who wished to 
maintain the principal forms of the established 
worship, purified from the grosser superstitions, 
and to maintain the hierarchy, and even the pa- 
pacy, after its tyranny had been checked, as a ne- 
cessary or at least useful means of preserving the 
unity of the catholic church. The third class con- 
sisted of those who were entirely of the senti- 
ments of the reformers, but were restrained from 
declaring themselves, and taking that side which 
their consciences approved, by lukewarmness, dread 
of persecution, or despair of success, in a country 
where the motives and the means to support the es- 
tablished religion were so many and so powerful. 
It is not meant that the persons included under 
these classes were formed into parties ; but by keep- 
ing this distinction in our eye, we shall be the better 
able to form a correct judgment of the views and 
conduct of certain individuals, who have been claim- 
ed as friends both by papists and protestants. 

The instances which I shall produce, belong 
chiefly to the second cf these classes. That there 
were many persons in Italy, eminent for their talents 
and station, whose creed differed widely from that 
which received the sanction of the council of Trent, 
is established on the best evidence, though it has been 
denied by the later historians and apologists of the 
church of Rome. It is proved by the fact, that their 
names and writings were suppressed and stigmatized 
as heretical or as suspected, by the authorized censors 
of the press. And it was acknowledged by writers 
who had the best opportunities of information, and 


were under no temptation to misrepresent the fact. 
" Those who at that time were disposed to exert 
themselves seriously for the reformation of the 
church," says the enlightened and impartial De 
Thou, " had frequent conferences about faith, 
works, grace, free-will, election, and glorification ; 
and many of them, entertaining- opinions on these 
subjects different from what were publicly taught, 
availed themselves of the authority of St, Augustine 
to support their sentiments." * 

Pier Angelo Manzolli was principal physician to 
Hercules II. duke of Ferrara. Under the anagram- 
matical name of Marcellus Palingenius, he published 
an elegant Latin poem, in which he described hu- 
man life in allusion to the twelve signs of the zo- 
diac. f This poem abounds with complaints of the 
corrupt manners of the clergy ; nor are there wanting 
in it passages which prove the alienation of the au- 
thor's mind from the church of Rome, and his satisfac- 
tion at the growing success of the new opinions.:]: It 

* Thuani Historia ad ann. 1551. 

t It is generally allowed, that the author of the Zodiacus Vitce con- 
cealed himself under a fictitious name. Flaminio, Fulvio Peregrino 
Morata, and several other learned men, have been supposed to be the 
real author; but the most probable opinion is that which is stated in the 
text, and which was first suggested by Facciolati. (Heumanni Pcecile, 
torn. i. pp. 259 266; ii. p. 175.) Whether Facciolati replied to the 
queries which Heumann proposed to him, with the view of obtaining 
fuller information respecting his countryman, I do not know. (Conf. 
Noltenii Vita Olympia? Morata?, p. 82, edit. Hesse.) 

% The following passage may serve as a specimen : 
Atque rogant quidnam Romana ageretur in urbe. 
Cuncti luxurite, atque gula>, furtisque dolisque, 


was put into the index of prohibited books, and the 
bones of the author, after his death, were taken out 
of their grave, and burnt to ashes as those of an 
impious heretic. * 

The claims of the protestants to rank Marco An- 
tonio Flaminio among their converts, have been 
keenly contested. It is undeniable, that, at one pe- 
riod of his life at least, he cultivated the friendship 
of the leading persons in his native country who 
were favourable to the new opinions, was an admi- 
rer of Valdez, encouraged Martyr and Ochino, and 
induced several individuals of rank to attend their 
sermons and embrace their doctrine, f Nor is this 
all. His writings prove, beyond all reasonable 
doubt, that he entertained sentiments, on the princi- 
pal points of controversy, coinciding with the pro- 
testant creed, and at variance with the decisions of 
the council of Trent. It would be easy to establish 

Certatim incumbunt, nosterque est sexus uterque, 
Respondit : sed nunc suramus parat arma sacerdos, 
Clemens, Martinum cupiens abolere Lutherum, 
Atque ideo Hispanas retinet nutritque cohortes. 
Non disceptando, aut subtilibus argumentis 
Vincere, sed ferro mavult sua jura tueri. 
Pontirlces nunc bella juvant, sunt caetera nuga?. 
Nee prsecepta patrum, nee Christi dogmata curant : 
Jactant se dominos rerum, et sibi cuncta licere. 

Zodiacus Vitae Capricornus. 
* Lil. Greg. Gyraldus, de Poetis sui aevi, dial. ii. Opera, p. 569. 
t Moncurtius, in Vita Flaminii, pra?fix. ejus Carmin. p. xxviii. 

Diss, de Religione M. Flaminii : in Schelhornii Amcen. Eccles. torn. 

ii. pp. 3179. Epistola? Flaminii, edit, a Joach. Camerario; apud 

Scbelhornii Amcenit. Liter, torn. x. p. 1161. 


this by a multiplicity of extracts ; but the following 
may suffice. " Human nature" (says he) " was so 
depraved by the fall of Adam, that its corruption 
is propagated to all his posterity, in consequence of 
which we contract in our very conception a stain 
and an incredible proneness to sin, which urges 
us to all kinds of wickedness and vice, unless our 
minds are purified and invigorated by the grace of 
the Holy Spirit. Without this renovation, we will 
always remain impure and defiled, although to men, 
who cannot look into the inward dispositions of 
others, we may appear to be pure and upright." * 

" In these words, (Ps. xxxii. 1.) the Psalmist 

pronounces blessed, not those who are perfect and 
free from the spot of sin, (for no man is so in this 
life) but those whose sins God has pardoned in his 
mercy ; and he pardons those who confess their 
sins, and sincerely believe that the blood of our 
Lord Jesus Christ is an expiation for all transgres- 
sions and faults."f " God, for the sake of Christ 

his Son, adopted them as his sons from all eternity ; 
those whom he adopted before they were born he 
calls to godliness ; and having called them, he con- 
fers on them first righteousness and then everlast- 
ing life." | " The creature, considered in itself, 

and in the corruption of its nature, is an impure 
mass ; and whatever is worthy of praise in it is the 
work of the Spirit of Christ, who purifies and re- 

* Flaminii in Librum Psalmorum brevis Explanatio, ff. 198, 199.. 
Parisiis, 1551. 

t Ibid. f. 143, b. J Ibid. f. 288, a. 


generates his elect by a living faith, and makes 
them creatures by so much the nobler and more 
perfect that they are disposed to count themselves 
as nothing, and as having nothing in themselves, 

but all in Christ." * " Christian faith consists 

in our believing the whole word of God, and parti- 
cularly the gospel. The gospel is nothing else than 
the message of good news announced to the whole 
world by the apostles, telling us, that the only be- 
gotten Son of God, having become incarnate, hath 
satisfied the justice of his Father for all our sins. 
Whosoever gives credit to these good tidings of good, 
he believes the gospel, and having faith in the gos- 
pel, which is the gift of God, he walks out of the 
kingdom of this world into that of God, by enjoy- 
ing the fruit of a general pardon ; from a carnal he 
becomes a spiritual creature, from a child of wrath 
a child of grace, from a son of Adam a son of God ; 
he is governed by the Holy Spirit ; he feels a sweet 
peace of conscience ; he studies to mortify the affec- 
tions and lusts of the flesh, acknowledging that he 
is dead with his head Jesus Christ ; and he studies to 
vivify the spirit, and lead a heavenly life, acknow- 
ledging that he is risen with the same Jesus Christ. 
A lively faith in the soul of a Christian man pro- 
duces all these and other admirable effects." f Such 

* Flaminii Epist. ad quandam principem foeminam ; apud Schel- 

hornii Amoen. Eccles. torn. ii. p. 103. 

t Ibid. p. 115. This last extract is taken from a letter to Theo- 
dora, or Theodorina Sauli, a lady belonging to a noble family in 
Genoa, whose name Gerdes has added to his list of female protestants, 
merely upon the authority of this letter. (Ital. Reform, p. 158.) 


were the sentiments of one who lived in the heart 
of Italy during the heat of the controversy between 
the papists and protestants the sentiments of a 
poet, whose writings discover " the simplicity and 
tenderness of Catullus without his licentiousness," 
and " melt the heart of the reader with sweetness." 
If there be any truth in the maxim laid down by a 
most catholic historian of the council of Trent,* 
" that the doctrine of justification is a test by which 
catholics may be distinguished from heretics, and 
the root from which all other doctrines, true or false, 
germinate," then Flaminio was unquestionably a 

On the other hand, there is a letter of Flaminio, 
in which he strenuously defends, in opposition to 
his friend Carnesecchi, the doctrine of the real pre- 
sence and commemorative oblation of Christ in the 
eucharist, and expresses himself with considerable 
acrimony in speaking of the reformers. f To re- 
concile these apparently contradictory statements, 
we must attend to the different periods in the life 
of Flaminio. During the flower of his age he was 

* Pallavicini. 

t This letter, dated from Trent, January 1, 1543, and Carnesecchi's 
reply to it, were inserted in a collection of Italian letters, published 
by Ludovico Dolci in 1555, and republished in Latin by Schelhorn, 
in his Amcenitates Ecclesiastics, torn. ii. pp. 146 179. Some writ- 
ers have denied the genuineness of the letter of Flaminio, while others 
suppose that Carnesecchi's reply induced him to retract his opinion. 
(Hesse, Not. ad Nolten. Vit. Olympian Moratae, p. 73.) A desire to 
add a celebrated name to the protestant roll has led to the adoption 
of these hypotheses. 


entirely engrossed with secular literature, as his 
juvenile poems evince. In middle life he applied 
his mind to sacred letters, made the scriptures his 
chief study, and derived his highest pleasure from 
meditating on divine things. It was at this time 
that he composed his paraphrases on the Psalms in 
prose and verse, and lived in the society of Valdez, 
Martyr, the duchess of Ferrara, and other persons 
addicted to the reformed opinions. The third pe- 
riod of his life extends from the time that the court 
of Rome adopted decisive measures for suppressing 
the reformed opinions in Italy, to the year 1550, in 
which he died. His letter on the eucharist was 
written immediately after some of his most in- 
timate acquaintance had been forced to fly from 
their native country to avoid imprisonment or a 
fiery death. The mild and yielding disposition 
of Flaminio was more fitted for contemplation 
and retirement than for controversy and suffer- 
ing. Like many others, he might not have made 
up his mind to separate formally from the church 
of Rome, and the fate of those who had ventured 
on that step would not help forward his resolu- 
tion. His friends in the sacred college were anxious 
to retain him ; and the article of the real presence, 
from which many protestants could not extricate 
themselves, was perhaps the means best fitted for 
entangling the devout mind of Flaminio, and recon- 
ciling him to remain in the communion of a church, 
whose public creed was at variance with some of 
the sentiments which were dearest to his heart. 


Two years after the time referred to, he refused 
the honourable employment of secretary to the 
council of Trent ; " because," says Pallavicini, " he 
favoured the new opinions, and would not employ 
his pen for an assembly by which he knew these 
opinions would be condemned."* The cardinal in- 
deed adds, that he had the happiness to be brought 
subsequently to acknowledge his errors through his 
acquaintance with Pole, and died a good catholic. 
But there is no evidence that he ever retracted his 
former sentiments ; and in none of his writings, 
earlier or later, do we read any thing of purgatory, 
prayers for the dead or to saints, pilgrimages, pe- 
nances, or any of those voluntary services which 
were so much insisted on by all the devoted adhe- 
rents to Rome ; but everywhere we find the warm- 
est piety and purest morality, founded on scriptural 
principles and enforced by the most evangelical mo- 
tives. We know, that the court of Rome, after 
it was awakened to its danger, was eager to en- 
gage the pens of the learned, in its defence against 
the reformers.! If the advisers to whom Flaminio 

" Istor. Cone. Trent, ad an. 1545. 

t It is well known what solicitations were used with Erasmus 
before he drew his pen against Luther. Christopher Longolius, in 
a letter to Stefano and Flaminio Sauli, mentions with an air of no 
small vanity, that he had been solicited from Germany to write in de- 
fence of Luther, and from Italy to write against him ; that both par- 
ties had furnished him with memorials ; that he thought himself qua- 
lified for either task; and that he had already, by way of essay, (like a 
wise and prudent procurator,) drawn up a pleading for and against 
the accused heretic. (Longolii Epist. lib. ii. p. 139.) The cautious 


committed himself during the last years of his life, 
could have prevailed on him to write any thing of 
this kind, it would have been triumphantly pro- 
claimed ; but it was a sufficient victory for them to 
be able to retain such a man in their chains, and to 
publish the solitary letter on the eucharist, which 
was written seven years before his death, as if it 
had been his dying testimony, and as a proof that he 
was not alienated from the catholic faith. Even 
this was the opinion only of a few of his private 
friends ; for the verdict of the Vatican was very dif- 
ferent. The report that it was intended to disinter 
his body, after his death, might be groundless ;* but 
it is certain that his writings were inserted in the 
prohibitory index, though care was taken afterwards 
to wipe off this disgrace, by expunging from that 
record the name of a man, who had lived on terms 
of intimacy with the chief dignitaries of the church, 
and whose genius and piety must always reflect cre- 
dit on the society with which he was connected.f 

The preceding account of the sentiments of Fla- 
minio materially agrees with that of a contempor- 
ary author who appears to have possessed good 
means of information. The following quotation is 
long, but it deserves a place here, as serving to throw 

orator chose the safe side, and sent forth a Ciceronian Philippic against 

Manlii Collect, p. 116. Georg. Fabricii Poem. Sacr. P. i. p. 2G4. 

+ The article in the Index of Rome for 1559, runs thus : "Marci 
Antonii Flaminii Paraphrases et Comment, in Psal. Item literse et 
carmina omnia." Sig. D 8. 


light on the state of religious opinion in Italy, and 
on the character of an Englishman, who makes but 
too conspicuous a figure in the history of his native 
country. Referring to the letter to Carnesecchi, of 
which he had stated the substance, that writer goes 
on to say : " This at least we gain from the let- 
ter of Flaminio, that, while he professes to differ 
from us on those heads which I have pointed out, 
he makes no such professions as to trans ubstantia- 
tion, and the oblation for the living and dead, which 
we reject ; he agrees with us in giving the cup to 
the laity ; and I am persuaded that, had he lived 
longer, he would have made further progress, and 
come over to us completely. But cardinal Pole 
kept him under restraint, and prevented him from 
freely avowing his sentiments, as he did many 
others. It is dreadful to think what injury Satan 
did to the resuscitated gospel, by the instrumentali- 
ty of this crafty Englishman, who acknowledged, or 
at least professed to acknowledge, that we are 
justified by faith in Christ alone, and laboured, 
along with those who resided in his house, among 
whom was Flaminio, to instil this doctrine into the 
minds of many. Not to name others, it is well 
known that John Morell, late minister of the foreign 
church in Francfort on the Maine, a man of great 
piety and learning, imbibed this doctrine in that 
school, and was drawn by Pole into the society 
of those who had a relish for the gospel, and 
were said to agree with us. How much did 
he labour by all the influence of his character and 


reputation to persuade others to rest satisfied with 
a secret belief of the truth, and not make themselves 
answerable for the errors and abuses of the church ;* 
alleging that we should tolerate, and even give our 
consent to these, in the expectation that God, at the 
fit time, would afford a favourable opportunity for 
having them removed. It is unnecessary to say, 
that this is a doctrine very agreeable to those who 
would have Christ without the cross. If Luther 
and other faithful servants of God, by whose means 
the truth has been clearly brought to light in our 
days, had chosen in this manner to conceal and wink 
at errors and abuses, how could they have been ex- 
tirpated ? How could the pure voice of the gospel 
ever have been heard in that case, when we see with 
what difficulty it has prevailed to a very limited ex- 
tent, through great contention and profusion of blood, 
in opposition to the predominating power and cruel- 
ty of Antichrist ? Pole however did not hesitate 
to assert, that he could advance the pure doctrine 
by concealment, dissimulation, and evasion. And 
not only so, but when some individuals, more ardent 
than the rest, threatened to break through these 
restraints, his agents were always ready to urge the 
propriety of waiting the fit season, and discover- 
ing their sentiments gradually ; in consequence of 
which some persons were so credulous as to be- 
lieve that at a future period the cardinal and 
his confidential friends would openly profess 

* " L'huomo si havesse a contentare di quella secreta cognitione, 
senza tener poi conto se la chiesa havea degli abusi et degli errori." 


the truth before the pope, and the whole city of 
Rome, and by the general attention which this 
must excite, would singularly advance the glory of 
God. After waiting for this until they were wea- 
ried out, how did the matter issue ? I cannot re- 
late it without tears. O wretched cardinal ! O mi- 
serable dupes of his promises ! The purity of reli- 
gion had been restored in England : the doctrines 
of justification by faith, the assurance of salvation, 
true repentance, scriptural absolution, the due 
use of the sacraments, and the sole headship of 
Christ over the church, were taught in that king- 
dom. Pole went there ; and what was the conse- 
quence ? He absolved the whole kingdom, includ- 
ing the nobles, the king and queen, on their knees, 
from the crimes which they had committed against 
the church of Rome. And what were these ? The 
teaching of those very doctrines which he himself 
had favoured, and the triumph of which he had pro- 
mised to secure by means of the arts of modera- 
tion and prudent delay. Nor did he rest, until, in 
his desire to gratify the pope and cardinals, he had 
restored all the abuses, superstitions, and abomina- 
tions which had been removed ; and had sent a 
printed account of his deeds through every country 
in Europe."* 

* Giutlicio sopra le lettere di tredeci huomini illustri publicate da 
Dionigi Atanagi, Venet. 1551. Schelhornii Amocnit. Eccles. torn. ii. 
pp. 11 15. Conf. torn. i. pp. 141 155. Colomesii Italia Orientalis, 
p. iii. Sleidani Cora. lib. x. torn. ii. p. 54 ; lib. xxi. torn. iii. p. 190. edit. 
Am Ende. To tbese may be added, the testimony of Aonio Paleario. 
(Opera, pp. 561, 562.) 



Gasparo Contarini was one of the distinguished 
individuals whom Paul III., aware of the necessity of 
conciliating public favour, had judiciously advanced 
to the purple. It is impossible to read the treatise 
on justification,* drawn up by him when he acted 
as legate at the diet and conference held at Ratis- 
bon in 1541, together with the letters which passed 
between him and Pole at that time, without being 
convinced that both these prelates agreed with the 
reformers on this article, and differed widely from 
Sadolet and others, whose sentiments were after- 
wards sanctioned by the council of Trent. Pole tells 
him, that " he knew long ago what his sentiments 
on that subject were ;" that he rejoiced at what his 
colleague had done, " not only because it laid a foun- 
dation for agreement with the protestants, but such a 
foundation as illustrated the glory of Christ the 
foundation of all Christian doctrine, which was not 
well understood by many ;" that he and all who were 
with him at Viterbo, joined in giving thanks to God 
" who had begun to reveal this sacred, salutary, and 
necessary doctrine ;" and that its friends ought not to 
be moved by the censures which it met with at Rome, 
where it was " charged with novelty," although " it 
lies at the foundation of all the doctrines held by the 
ancient church."f That cardinal Morone was of the 

* This was republished from Contarini's works, by cardinal Quiri- 
ni, in his collection of Pole's Letters, vol. iii. p. cic. &c. 

tSee Pole's letters to Contarini, of the 17th May and 16th July, 
1541, and 1st May, 1542. (Epistola? Reginal. Poli, vol. iii. pp. 25, 
27 30, 53.) Quirini, beside what is contained in his dissertations pre- 
fixed to Pole's letters, attempted to defend Contarini's orthodoxy, in 


same sentiments appears from the articles of charge 
brought against him, supported by his known agree- 
ment with Pole and Contarini.* To these members 
of the sacred college, we have to add Federigo Fre- 
goso, a prelate equally distinguished by his birth, 
learning, and virtues. f He gave great " scandal," 
by declining to appear at the court of the Vatican, 
after the pope had honoured him with the purple.:}: 
Disgusted with the manners of that court, he had 
divested himself of the archbishopric of Salerno, 
and retired to the diocese of Gubbio, of which he 
was administrator ; and perceiving that the people 
conceived the whole of religion to lie in pronouncing, 
at stated hours and with the prescribed gesticula- 
tions, the pater noster, ave maria, and hymns in hon- 
our of the saints, he, with the view of initiating them 
into a more rational and scriptural devotion, com- 
posed in Italian a treatise on the Method of pray- 

a separate tract, entitled, Epistola ad Greg-orium Ilothfischerum, Brix- 
iw 1752; to which Jo. Rud. Kieslingius replied in his Epistola ad 
Eminent. Princ. Angelum Mariam Quirinum, dc Religiune Lutherana 
amabili, Lips. 1753, pp. 5 7. 

* Wolfii Lect. Memor. torn. ii. p. 655. When the articles 
were afterwards published, with scholia, by Vergerio, the inqui- 
sitors did not insert the book in their index, from fear of exciting at- 
tention to the fact that a cardinal had been accused of heresy. (Ver- 
gerii Oper. torn. i. p. 262. Schelhornii Amcenit. Liter, torn. xii. p. 516, 

+ He was the nephew of Guidubalde, duke of Urbino, and the bro- 
ther of Ottaviano Fregoso, doge of Genoa, a name celebrated in the 
annals of that republic. (Tiraboschi, vii. 1076.) " Egli e tutto buono, 
e tutto santo, e tutto nelle sacre lettere. e Latine, e Greche, e Ebraiche," 
says Bembo. (Opere, tomo vii. p. 2G7.) 

X Bembo, Lettere, tomo i. p. 139. 


ers, which had the honour of being prohibited at 
Rome.* The same honour was reserved for the 
elegant commentaries of the learned and pious ab- 
bot, Giambatista Folengo, which abound with sen- 
timents similar to those which have been quoted 
from the writings of Flaminio, accompanied with 
severe strictures on the superstitious practices which 
the priests and friars recommended to the people.f 

Angelo Buonarici, general of the canons regular 
at Venice, is another example of the extent to which 
the leading opinions of the reformed had spread in 
Italy. In his exposition of the apostolical epistles, 
he has stated the doctrine of justification by faith 
with as much clearness and accuracy as either Luther 
or Calvin. " This passage of scripture (says he) 
teaches us, that if we are true Christians, we must 
acknowledge that we are saved and justified, with- 
out the previous works of the law, by means of faith 
alone. Not that we are to conclude, that those 
who believe in Christ are not bound and obliged to 
study the practice of holy, devout, and good works ; 
but no one must think or believe that he can at- 

* An account of this book is given by Riederer, in the third volume 
of his Nachrichten. Wolfii Lect. Memorab. torn. ii. p. 698. Index 
Auct. Prohibit. Romae, 1559. There is a curious letter written in 
1531, by Bembo to Fregoso, about a treatise in manuscript, which the 
latter had sent to the former, on the subject of free-will and predestina- 
tion. Bembo promises not to allow it to go into improper hands, but 
refuses to burn it, as Fregoso had requested him to do. (Bembo, 
Opere, torn. v. pp. 165, 166.) 

+ See the extracts from his Commentary on the Psalms, in Gerdes. 
Ital. Ref. pp. 257 261. Comp. Ginguene, Hist. Liter, d'ltalie, torn, 
yii. p. 58. Teissier, Eloges, torn. i. p. 170. Tiraboschi, vii. 400. 


tain to the benefit of justification by good works, 
for this is indeed obtained by faith, and good works 
in the justified do not precede but follow their jus- 
tification." Similar sentiments pervade this work, 
which appeared with the privilege of the inquisi- 
tors of Venice ; a circumstance which might have 
excited our astonishment, had we not known that 
still greater oversights have been committed by 
these jealous and intolerant, but ignorant and in- 
judicious, censors of the press.* Still more remark- 
able were the sentiments of Giovanni Grimani, a 
Venetian of noble birth, and patriarch of Aquileia. 
A Dominican monk of Udine had given offence 
by teaching in a sermon, that the elect cannot in- 
cur damnation, but will be recovered from the sins 
into which they may fall ; and that salvation 
and damnation depend upon election and predesti- 
nation, and not on our free-will. The patriarch un- 
dertook the defence of this doctrine, first in a letter 
to the general of the Dominicans, and afterwards 
in a treatise which he wrote expressly on the sub- 
ject. This was subsequent to the decrees of the 
council of Trent which determined the doctrine of 
the church on these points. Grimani was not troub- 
led for his opinions at this time, but having, at a 
subsequent period, irritated his clergy by attempting 
to reform their manners, he was delated to the in- 
quisitors ; and at the very time that pope Pius IV., at 
the request of the senate of Venice, was about to ad- 

*Gerdesii Ital. Rcf. pp. 198200. 


vance him to the purple, he was accused of holding 
Lutheran and Calvinian errors on seven different ar- 
ticles. The republic of Venice procured an order 
from the pope, to take the cause from the hands of 
the inquisitors, and commit it to the judgment of 
the fathers, who, in the year 1563, were still as- 
sembled at Trent, and who, after an examination 
which lasted twenty-four days, came at last to the 
determination, that the writings of the patriarch 
were not heretical, though they ought not to have 
been made public on account of certain difficult 
points which were treated in them, and not explained 
with sufficient accuracy. So great was the influence 
of the senate of Venice with the pope and council !* 
Of the mode of thinking, or rather feeling, among 
a numerous class of enlightened Italians, we have 
an example in Celio Calcagnini, " one of the most 
learned men of that age."f His friend Peregrino 
Morata had sent him a book in defence of the re- 
formed doctrine, and requested his opinion of it. 
The reply of Calcagnini was cautious, but sufficiently 
intelligible. I have read (says he) the book relating 
to the controversies so much agitated at present ;t I 

* Raynaldi Annal. ad ann. 1549, 1563. Pallavicini, apud Gerdes. 
Ital. Ref. pp. 91 93. I have not adduced the examples of Foscarari, 
bishop of Modena, and San Felicio, bishop of Cava, with several 
others, who have been ranked among the favourers of the reformed 
opinions by Schelhorn ; (Amcen. Eccles. torn. i. p. 151 ;) because I am 
not aware that he had any other ground for doing this than the fact 
that these distinguished prelates were thrown into the prisons of the 
Inquisition by that violent pontiff, Paul IV. 

+ Tiraboschi, vii. 163. 

X Tiraboschi thinks that Morata was himself the author of the 
book. (vii. 1199.) 


have thought on its contents, and weighed them in 
the balance of reason. I find in it nothing which 
may not be approved and defended, but some things, 
which, as mysteries, it is safer to suppress and 
conceal than to bring before the common people, in 
as much as they pertained to the primitive and 
infant state of the church. Now, when the decrees 
of the fathers and long usage have introduced 
other modes, what necessity is there for reviving 
antiquated practices which have long fallen into de- 
suetude, especially as neither piety nor the salvation 
of the soul is concerned with them ? Let us then, I 
pray you, allow these things to rest. Not that I dis- 
approve of their being embraced by scholars and lov- 
ers of antiquity ; but I would not have them commu- 
nicated to the common people and those who are fond 
of innovations, lest they give occasion to strife and 
sedition. There are unlearned and unqualified per- 
sons who having, after long ignorance, read or 
heard certain new opinions respecting baptism, the 
marriage of the clergy, ordination, the distinction 
of days and food, and public penitence, instantly 
conceive that these things are to be stiffly maintain- 
ed and observed. Wherefore, in my opinion, the 
discussion of these points ought to be confined to 
the initiated, that so the seamless coat of our Lord 
may not be rent and torn. It was this consideration, 
I suppose, which moved those good men who lately 
laid before pope Paul a plan of reforming Chris- 
tianity, to advise that the Colloquies of Erasmus 
should be banished from our republic, as Plato for- 


merry banished the poems of Homer from his." Hav- 
ing made some observations of a similar kind on the 
doctrine of predestination, taught by the author of 
the book, he concludes thus : "Seeing it is dangerous 
to treat such things before the multitude and in pub- 
lic discourses, I must deem it safest to * speak with 
the many and think with the few,' and to keep in 
mind the advice of Paul, ' Hast thou faith ? have 
it to thyself before God.' "* In this manner did the 
learned Apostolical Protonotary satisfy his con- 
science ; and very probably he was not aware, or 
did not reflect, how much weight self-interest threw 
into one of the scales of " the balance of reason." 
The temporizing maxim in which he takes refuge 
was borrowed from his intimate friend Erasmus ; 
and it is curious to find it here employed to jus- 
tify the sentence pronounced against one of the 
most useful works of that elegant and accomplished 
scholar. It will always be a favourite maxim with 
those who are determined, like Erasmus, to escape 
suffering, or who, as he expressed it, " feel that 
they have not received the grace of martyrdom ;" a 
mode of speaking, by the way, which shows that 
those who are most shy to own the doctrine of pre- 
destination are not the most averse to avail them- 
selves of it, in its least defensible sense, as an apo- 
logy for their weakness. Let us not, however, 
imagine that this plea was confined to one age or 
one description of persons. An attentive observa- 

* Cselii Calcagnini Opera, p. 195. 


tion of the conduct of mankind will, I am afraid, 
lead to the humiliating conclusion, that the greater 
part, including those who lay claim to superior in- 
telligence and superior piety, are but too apt, when- 
ever a sacrifice must be made or a hardship endured, 
to swerve from the straight path of duty which their 
unbiassed judgment had discerned, and to act on 
the principle, which, though glossed over with the 
specious names of expediency, prudence, and neces- 
sity, amounts to this, when expressed in plain lan- 
guage, " Let us do evil that good may come." 

The preceding narrative sufficiently shows that 
the reformed opinions, if they did not take deep 
root, were at least widely spread, in Italy. The 
number of those who, from one motive or another, 
desired a reformation, and who would have been 
ready to fall in with any attempt to introduce it 
which promised to be successful, was so great, that, if 
any prince of considerable power had placed himself 
at their head, or if the court of Rome had been 
guilty of any such aggression on the political rights 
of its neighbours as it committed at a future period, 
Italy might have followed the example of Germa- 
ny, and protestant cities and states have risen 
on the south as well as the north of the Alps.* 
The prospect of this filled the minds of the friends 
of the papacy with apprehension and alarm. In a 
letter to the nephew of pope Paul III., Sadolet 
complains that the ears of his holiness were so pre- 

* Bayle, Diet. art. Acontius ; addition in English translation. 


occupied with the false representations of flatterers, 
as not to perceive that there was " an almost univer- 
sal defection of the minds of men from the church, 
and an inclination to execrate ecclesiastical authori- 
ty."? And cardinal CarafFa signified to the same 
pope, " that the whole of Italy was infected with the 
Lutheran heresy, which had been embraced not only 
by statesmen but also by many ecclesiastics."! 

No wonder, in these circumstances, that the ar- 
dent friends of the Reformation should at this period 
have cherished the sanguine hope that Italy would 
throw off the papal yoke. " See (says one) how the 
gospel, even in Italy, where it is so much borne 
down, exults in the near prospect of bursting forth, 
like the sun from a cloud, in spite of all opposi- 
tion."^: " Whole libraries (writes Melanchthon to 
George, prince of Anhalt) have been carried from 
the late fair into Italy, though the pope has publish- 
ed fresh edicts against us. But the truth cannot be 
wholly oppressed: our captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Son of God, will vanquish and trample on the 
dragon, the enemy of God ; and will liberate and go- 
vern us." This issue of the religious movement in 
his native country was hailed with still more enthu- 

* Raynaldi Ann. ad an. 1539. 

t Spondani Annal. ad an. 1542. 

1 Gabrieli Valliculi, De liberali Dei Gratia, et servo hominis Ar- 
bitrio. Norinib. 1536 ; apud Bock, Hist. Antitrin. ii. 396. 

Epistola-, col. 303. Tins letter has no date ; but from compar- 
ing its contents with Sleidan, Comment, torn. ii. p. 187, it appears 
to have been written in 1 540. 


siastic feelings by Celio Secimdo Curio, in a dialogue 
composed by him at the period now referred to, and 
intended to prove that the kingdom of God or of the 
elect is more extensive than that of the devil or of 
the reprobate. He introduces his interlocutor, Mai- 
nardi. as saying : "If the Lord shall continue, as he 
has begun, to grant prosperous success to the gospel, 
the delectable embassy of reconciliation and grace, 
we shall behold the whole world thronging, more 
than it has ever done at any former period, to this a- 
sylum and fortified city, to Jesus Christ, the prince 
of it, and to its three towers, faith, hope, and charity; 
so that with our own eyes we may yet see the king- 
dom of God of much larger extent than that which 
the enemy of mankind has acquired, not by his own 
power but by the providence of God." " O blessed 
day ! O that I might live to see the ravishing pro- 
spect realized !" exclaims Curio. " You shall live, 
Celio, be not afraid ; you shall live to see it. The 
joyful sound of the gospel has within our own day 
reached the Scythians, Thracians, Indians and Af- 
ricans. Christ, the king of kings, has taken pos- 
session of Rhoetia and Helvetia : Germany is under 
his protection : he has reigned, and will again reign 
in England : he sways his sceptre over Denmark 
and the Cymbrian nations : Prussia is his : Poland 
and the whole of Sarmatia are on the point of yield- 
ing to him : he is pressing forward to Pannonia : 
Muscovy is in his eye : he beckons France to him : 
Italy, our native country, is travailing in 
birth : and Spain will speedily follow. Even the 


Jews, as you perceive, have abated their former 
aversion to Christianity. Since they saw that we 
acknowledge one God, the creator of heaven and 
earth, and Jesus Christ whom he sent ; that we wor- 
ship neither images, nor symbols, nor pictures ; that 
we no longer adore mystical bread or a wafer as 
God ; that they are not despised by us as formerly ; 
that we acknowledge we received Christ from them ; 
and that there is access for them to enter into that 
kingdom from which they are secluded, as we 
once were their minds have undergone a great 
change, and now at last they are provoked to emu- 

The striking contrast between this pleasing pic- 
ture and the event which soon after took place, ad- 
monishes us not to allow our minds to be dazzled by 
flattering appearances, or to build theories of faith on 
prospects which fancy may have sketched on the 
deceitful horizon of public opinion ; and we should 
recollect, that though persecution is one means, it is 
not the only one, by which the march of Christianity 
has been, and may yet again be, checked and ar- 

* Ccelius Secundus Curio, De Amplitudine Regni Dei ; in Schel- 
hornii Aracen. Liter, torn. xii. pp. 594, 595. 




It was in the year 1542, that the court of Rome 
first became seriously alarmed at the progress of 
the new opinions in Italy. Engrossed by foreign 
politics, and believing that they could at any time 
put down an evil which was within their reach, the 
pope and his counsellors had either disregarded the 
representations which were made to them on this 
head as exaggerated, or contented themselves with is- 
suing prohibitory bulls and addressing to the bishops 
of the suspected places monitory letters, which were 
defeated by the lukewarmness of the local magis- 
trates, or the caution of the obnoxious individuals. 
But in the course of the year referred to, the clergy, 
and particularly the friars, poured in their complaints 
from all parts of the country, as to the danger to 
which the catholic faith was exposed from the bold- 
ness of the reformers and the increase of conventicles. 
At the head of these was PietroCarafl a, commonly cal- 
led the Theatine cardinal, from an order of monks of 
which he was the founder, a prelate who made high 
pretensions to sanctity, and distinguished himself 


by his violence, when he afterwards mounted the 
pontifical throne, under the name of Paul IV. He 
laid before the sacred college the discoveries he had 
made as to the extent to which heresy had taken root 
in Naples and spread through various parts of Ita- 
ly ; and convinced them of the necessity of adopting 
the speediest and strongest measures for its extermi- 
nation.* It was resolved to proceed in the first place 
against such of the ecclesiastics as were understood 
to favour it, among whom Ochino and Martyr were 
the most distinguished ; but as these individuals 
were in possession of great popularity, and had not 
yet made open defection from the catholic faith, 
spies were placed round their persons, while a se- 
cret investigation was instituted into their past con- 
duct, with the view of procuring direct evidence of 
their heretical opinions. 

Such a deep impression had the sermons delivered 
by Ochino at Venice made on the minds of the citi- 
zens, that they joined in an application to the 
pope to grant them an opportunity of hearing him 
a second time. His holiness accordingly directed 
the cardinal of Carpi, who was protector of the 
order of Capuchins, to send him to preach at Ve- 
nice during Lent in the year 1542 ; and at the same 
time instructions were given to the apostolical nuncio 
to watch his conduct. The whole city ran in crowds 
to hear their favourite preacher. It does not ap- 
pear that he used greater freedom in his discourses 

* Caracciolus, De Vita Pauli IV. p. 240. 


on the present occasion than he had used on the 
former ; but a formal complaint was soon made 
against him, of having' advanced doctrines at vari- 
ance with the catholic faith, particularly on the 
head of justification.* On his appearance before 
the nuncio, however, he was able to defend himself 
so powerfully against his accusers, that no plausible 
pretext could be found for proceeding against him. 
Perceiving that he was surrounded by spies, he exert- 
ed a greater circumspection over his words in the pul- 
pitfor some time; but having heard that Julio Teren- 
tiano, of Milan, a convert of Valdez, with whom he 
had been intimate at Naples, was thrown into pri- 
son, he could no longer restrain himself. In the 
course of a sermon, at which the senators and princi- 
pal persons in the city were present, he introduced 
that subject, and broke out in these words : " What 
remains for us to do, my lords ? And to what 
purpose do we fatigue and exhaust ourselves, if 
those, O noble Venice, queen of the Adriatic, if 
those who preach to you the truth, are to be thrown 
into prisons, thrust into cells, and loaded with chains 
and fetters ? What place will be left to us ? what 
field will remain open to the truth ? O that we 
had liberty to preach the truth ! How many blind, 
who now grope their way in the dark, would be re- 
stored to light !" On hearing of this bold appeal, 
the nuncio instantly suspended him from preaching, 

* Palearii Opera, p. 294. The same thing is stated by Ochino him- 
self in his Apology to the Magistrates of Sienna, republished at the 
end of the second volume of his Prediehe. 


and reported the matter to the pope. But the Ve- 
netians were so importunate in his behalf, that the 
interdict was removed after three days, and he again 
appeared in the pulpit.* Lent being ended, he went 
to Verona, where he assembled those of his order 
who were intended for the function of preaching, 
and commenced reading to them a course of lectures 
on the Epistles of Paul. JBut he had not proceeded 
far in this work, when he received a citation from 
Rome to answer certain charges founded on his lec- 
tures, and on the informations of the nuncio at Ve- 
nice.! Having set out on his journey to the capital, 
he had an interview at Bologna with cardinal Conta- 
rini, then lying on his death-bed, who assured him 
that he agreed with the protestants on the article of 
justification, though he was opposed to them on the 
other points of controversy 4 In the month of August, 
Ochino went to Florence, where he received infor- 
mation that his death was resolved on at Rome, 
upon which he retired to Ferrara, and being assist- 
ed in his flight by the duchess Renee, escaped the 
hands of the armed men who had been dispatched 
to apprehend him, and reached Geneva in safety. $ 

* Boverio, Annali de Capuccini, torn. i. p. 426. 

t Ibid. p. 127. 

J Ochino, Prediche, torn. i. num. 10. This fact has been strongly 
denied by Boverio, (ut supra,) and by Card. Quirini, (Diatrib. ad 
vol. iii. Epist. Poli, cap. ix.) Beccatello says, he was present at the in- 
terview, and that the cardinal, who was very weak, merely requested 
a share in Ochino's prayers. (Ibid. p. cxxxvii.) 

Ochino has himself given an account of his departure from Italy 
and the reasons of it, in his answer to Muzio, which is reprinted at 


The defection and flight of Ochino struck his 
countrymen with amazement, proportioned to the 
admiration in which they had held him.* Claudio 
Tolomeo, one of the best epistolary writers of his 
age, in a letter which he addressed to him, says 
that the tidings of his defection from the Catholic 
to the Lutheran camp, had completely stunned him, 
and appeared to him for some time utterly false 
and incredible.f The lamentations of the Theatine 
cardinal were still more tragical, and may be quoted 
as a specimen of that mystical and sublimated devo- 
tion which, at this period, was combined with a 
spirit of ambition and bigotry, in a certain class of 
the defenders of the papacy. " What has befallen 
thee, Bernardino? What evil spirit has seized 
thee, like the reprobate king of Israel of old ? My 

the end of the second volume of his Predkhe. Lubieniecius and San- 
dius represent him as having gone to Rome, and in the presence of 
the pope to have reproved from the pulpit the tyranny, pride, and 
vices of the pontifical court. The latter adds, that in a sermon he 
brought forward a number of arguments against the doctrine of the 
trinity, deferring the answer to them till another time, under the pre- 
tence that the hour had elapsed ; but as soon as he left the pulpit, he 
mounted a horse which was ready for him, and quitting Rome and Italy, 
eluded the inquisitors. This is a ridiculous story, evidently made up 
from the manner in which Ochino brought forward the antitrinitari- 
an sentiments a little before his death. 

* In a letter to Melanchthon, dated from Geneva, on the 14th of 
Feb. 1.543, Calvin says : " Habemus hie Bernardinum Senensem, mag- 
num et praeclarum virum, qui suo discessu non parum Italiam com- 
movit. Is, ut vobis suo nomine salutem ascriberem, petiit." (Sylloge 
Epist. Burman. torn. ii. p. 230.) 

t Tolomeo, Lettere, p. 237. Venez. 1565. Schelhorns Ergoetzlich- 
keiten, torn. iii. p. 1006. 



father, ray father ! the chariot and the charioteer 
of Israel ! whom a little ago we with admiration be- 
held ascending to heaven in the spirit and power 
of Elias, must we now bewail thy descent to hell 
with the chariots and horsemen of Pharaoh ? All 
Italy flocked to thee ; they hung upon thy breast : 
thou hast betrayed the land ; thou hast slain the in- 
habitants. O doting old man, who has bewitched 
thee to feign to thyself another Christ than thou 
wert taught by the catholic church ? Ah ! Ber- 
nardino, how great wert thou in the eyes of all men ! 
oh, how beautiful and fair ! Thy coarse but sacred 
cap excelled the cardinal's hat and the pope's mitre, 
thy nakedness the most gorgeous apparel, thy bed 
of wattles the softest and most delicious couch, thy 
deep poverty the riches of the world. Thou wert 
the herald of the highest, the trumpet sounding far 
and wide ; thou wert full of wisdom and adorned 
with knowledge; the Lord placed thee in the garden 
of Eden, in his holy mount, as a light above the can- 
dlestick, as the sun of the people, as a pillar in his 
temple, as a watchman in his vineyard, as a shep- 
herd to feed his flock. Still your eloquent discour- 
ses sound in our ears still we see your unshod feet. 
Where now are all your magnificent words con- 
cerning contempt of the world ? Where your in- 
vectives against covetousness ? Thou that didst 
teach that a man should not steal, dost thou steal ?"* 

* Bock, Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. p. 495. Quirini Diatr. ad vol. iii. 
Epist. Poli, p. 86. 


In this inflated style, which cardinal Quirini calls 
" elegant and vehement," did Caraffa proceed until 
he had nearly exhausted all the metaphors in the 
Flowers of the saints. 

Ochino was not silent on his part. Beside an 
aj)ologetical letter to the magistrates of his native 
city of Sienna, and another to Tolomeo, he publish- 
ed a large collection of his sermons, and various po- 
lemical treatises against the church of Rome, which, 
being written in the Italian language and in a po- 
pular style, produced a great effect upon his coun- 
trymen, notwithstanding the antidotes administer- 
ed by writers hired to refute and defame him. * 
His flight was the signal for the apprehension of 
some of his most intimate friends, and a rigorous 
investigation into the sentiments of the religious 
order to which he belonged ; some of whom made 
their escape, and others saved their lives by recanting 
their opinions. The pope was so incensed by the 
apostasy of Ochino, and the number of those who 
were found implicated in his heresy, that he propos- 
ed at one time to suppress the order of Capuchins. t 
Martyr, in the mean time, was in equal danger 
at Lucca. The monks of his order, who were irri- 
tated by the reformation of manners which, as ge- 
neral visitor, he had introduced among them, were 

* A list of Ochino's works is to be found in Haym, Biblioteca, 
tom.ii.p. 616,&c. inObservat. Halenses, torn. v.p. 65, ike. and in Bock, 
ut supra, p. 515, &c. His principal antagonists were Girolarao Mu- 
zio, the author of Le Mentite Ochiniane, and Ambrogio Catarino, 
who wrote Re medio a la pestilcnte dottrinu di Bernardo Ochino. 

t Hock, ut supra, p. 496. 


forward to accuse him, and acted as spies on his con- 
duct. For a whole year he was exposed to their secret 
machinations and open detraction, against which he 
could not have maintained himself, if he had not 
enjoyed the favour of the Lucchese. * With the 
view of trying their disposition, his enemies obtain- 
ed an order from Rome to apprehend one of his 
friends who was confessor to the Augustinian con- 
vent, as one suspected of heresy. Some noblemen, 
who admired his piety and were convinced of his 
innocence, forced the doors of his prison, and set him 
at liberty ; but having fallen and broken a limb in 
his flight, he was again taken and conveyed to 
Rome in triumph. Encouraged by this success, 
they lodged a formal accusation against Mar- 
tyr before the papal court ; messengers were sent 
through the different convents to exhort the monks 
not to allow the opportunity of recovering " their 
ancient liberty," by inflicting punishment on their 
adversary, to escape ; and a general congregation 
of the order being convened at Genoa, he was cited 
instantly to attend. Aware of the prejudice which 
had been excited against him, and warned by his 
friends that snares were laid for his life, he re- 
solved, after deliberation, to avoid the danger, by 
withdrawing himself from the rage and craft of 

* See before, p. 123. In the course of the inquiries which he had 
instituted, several individuals had been deprived of their offices on 
account of gross delinquencies, and the rector-general of the order, 
with some others, was condemned to perpetual confinement in the 
islands of Trcmiti. (Simler, Oratio de Martyre, sig. b iij.) 


his enemies. After allotting a part of his library to 
the convent, he committed the remainder to Cristo- 
foro Trenta, a patrician of Lucca, with the view of 
its being sent after him to Germany ; and having 
set the affairs of the convent in order, and commit- 
ted the charge of it to his vicar, he left the city se- 
cretly, accompanied by Paolo Lacisio, Theodosio 
Trebellio, and Julio Terentiano, who had been re- 
leased from prison. At Pisa he wrote letters to 
cardinal Pole, and to the brethren of the monas- 
tery at Lucca, which he committed to trusty per- 
sons to be delivered a month after his departure. 
In these he laid open the grievous errors and 
abuses which attached to the popish religion in ge- 
neral, and the monastic life in particular, to which 
his conscience would no longer allow him to give 
countenance ; and, as additional grounds for his 
withdrawing, referred to the odium which he had 
incurred, and the plots formed against his life. At 
the same time, he sent back the ring which he had 
been accustomed to wear as the badge of his office, 
that it might not be said that he had appropriated 
any part of the property of the convent to his 
private use. Having met with Ochino at Florence, 
and settled with him their respective routes, he set 
out, and travelling cautiously and with expedition 
by Bologna, Ferrara, and Verona, reached Zurich 
in safety, along with his three companions.* They 
had not been long there when they received an in- 

* Siraler, Oratio de Martyre, sig. b iiij. 


vitation from Bucer to come to Strasburg, where 
they obtained situations as professors in the aca- 
demy. From that place Martyr wrote to the re- 
formed church of Lucca of which he had been pas- 
tor, stating the reasons which had induced him to 
quit his native country, and encouraging them to 
persevere in their adherence to the gospel which 
they had embraced.* 

It was no sooner known that Martyr had fled, 
than a visitation of the monastery over which he 
had presided was ordered, with the view of ascer- 
taining the extent to which it was tainted with his 
heretical opinions. A great many of the monks 
were thrown into prison, and, before a year elaps- 
ed, eighteen of them had deserted Italy and re- 
tired to Switzerland, j- The protestant church 
which had been formed in the city, though dis- 
couraged by the loss of its founder, and exposed to 
the threats of its adversaries, was not dispersed or 
broken up. Under the protection of some of the 
principal persons of the state, it continued to hold 
its meetings in private, enjoyed the instruction of 
regular pastors, and increased in knowledge and 
even in numbers. In a letter addressed to them, 
more than twelve years after he left Lucca, and on 
the back of a disastrous change in their situation, 

* Martyris Epist. universis Ecclesite Lucensis fidelibus, 8 Calend. 
Jan. 1.543; in Loc. Comraun. pp. 750 752. He about the same time 
published an Exposition of the Apostles Creed in Italian, to render 
to all an account of his faith. (Simler, ut supra, sig. cj.) 

t Simler, ut supra, sig. b iiij. 


Martyr says, " Such progress have you made for 
many years in the gospel of Jesus Christ, that it 
was unnecessary for me to excite you by my letters, 
and all that remained for me to do was to make ho- 
nourable mention of you everywhere, and to give 
thanks to our Heavenly Father for the spiritual 
blessings with which he had crowned you. To this I 
had an additional motive, from reflecting that my 
hand was honoured to lay the foundations of this good 
work, in weakness I confess, but still, by the grace 
of Christ, to your no small profit. My joy was in- 
creased by learning that, after my labours among 
you were over, God provided you with other and 
abler teachers, by whose prudent care and salutary 
instructions the work begun in you was advanced." * 
One of the teachers to whom Martyr refers was 
Celio Secundo Curio, who had obtained a situation 
in the university. The senate protected him for 
some time in spite of the outcries of the clergy ; 
but the pope having, in the year 1543, addressed 
letters to the magistrates complaining of this, and re- 
quiring them to send him to Rome to answer charges 
which had been brought against him from various 
quarters, they gave him private intimation to con- 
sult his safety. Upon this he retired to Ferrara, 
whence, by the advice of the duchess Renee, who 
furnished him with letters of recommendation to 
the magistrates of Zurich and Berne, he quitted 
Italy, and took up his residence at Lausanne. In 

* Martyris Epistola ad fratres Lucenses, anno 1556; in Loc. Com- 
mun. p. 771. 


the course of the same year he returned for his wife 
and children, whom he had left behind him : on 
which occasion he made one of those escapes which, 
though well authenticated, throw an air of romance 
over the narrative of his life. The inquisition had 
just been erected at Rome, and its familiars, scat- 
tered over all the country, had tracked the route of 
Curio from the time he entered Italy. Not ventur- 
ing to appear in Lucca, he stopped at the neighbour- 
ing town of Pessa until his family should join him. 
While he was sitting at dinner in the inn, a cap- 
tain of the papal band, called in Italy Barisello, 
suddenly made his appearance, and entering the 
room, commanded him in the pope's name to yield 
himself as a prisoner. Curio, despairing of escape, 
rose to deliver himself up, unconsciously retaining in 
his hand the knife with which he had been carvinsr. 
The Barisello seeing an athletic figure approaching 
him with a large carving knife, was seized with 
a sudden panic, and retreated to a corner of the 
room ; upon which Curio, who possessed great pre- 
sence of mind, walked deliberately out, passed with- 
out interruption through the midst of the armed 
men who were stationed at the door, took his horse 
from the stable, and made good his flight.* 

There had long been in Italy, as well as in France, 
individuals, called inquisitors, whose employment 
it was to conduct the examination of persons charged 
with heresy; but they acted under the bishops, to 

* Stupani Oratio de S. C. Curione, ut supra, pp.-344, 345. 


whom the power of regulating the process, and 
pronouncing judgment properly belonged. In the 
early part of the sixteenth century, there was no 
separate and independent court for trying such 
causes in either of these countries, as there had long 
been in Spain. The want of such a powerful en- 
gine for suppressing free inquiry, and preserving 
the authority of the church, had been strongly felt 
since the new opinions spread so widely in Italy. 
The bishops were in some instances lukewarm ; 
they were accessible to the claims of humanity or of 
friendship ; their forms of process were slow and 
open ; and the accused individual often escaped be- 
fore they could obtain from the civil power the ne- 
cessary order for his arrest. On these accounts the 
erection of a court of inquisition had been for some 
years eagerly pressed by the more zealous Roman- 
ists, with cardinal Carafta at their head, as the only 
means of preserving Italy from being overrun with 
heresy. Accordingly, pope Paul III. founded at 
Rome the congregation of the Holy Office, by a bull- 
dated the 1st of April 1543, which granted the 
title and rights of inquisitors-general of the faith to 
six cardinals, and gave them authority, on both 
sides of the Alps, to try all causes of heresy, with 
the power of apprehending and incarcerating sus- 
pected persons, and their abettors, of whatsoever 
state, rank, or order, of nominating officers under 
them, and appointing inferior tribunals in all places, 
with the same or limited powers.* 

* Limborch's Hist, of the Inquisition, vol. i. p. 151; Chandler's 
transl. Llorente, Hist, de PInquis. torn. ii. p. 78. 


This court instantly commenced its operations 
within the ecclesiastical states ; and it was the great 
object of the popes, during the remainder of this 
century, to extend its power over Italy. The se- 
nate of Venice refused to allow a branch of the in- 
quisition to be set up within their territories ; but 
they yielded so far as to admit inquisitors to 
take the direction of trials for heresy, in the 
way of prohibiting them to pronounce a definitive 
sentence, at least in the case of laics, and providing 
that certain magistrates and lawyers should be al- 
ways present on such occasions, to examine the 
witnesses, and protect the citizens of the republic 
against injustice and avarice concealed under the 
cloak of zeal for religion.* The popes found less 
opposition in the other states of Italy. In places 
where they did not succeed in their attempts to set 
up a local tribunal, they obtained liberty to em- 
ploy their agents in searching for suspected persons ; 
and prevailed with the authorities to send such as 
were accused, especially if they were either ecclesi- 
astical persons or strangers, to be tried by the inqui- 
sition at Rome. Even the senate of Venice, jealous 
as it was of any interference with its authority, 
yielded, in some instances, to requests of this kind.j- 
No court ever knew so well as that of Rome 
how to combine artifice with violence, to desist 

" Busdragi Epistola; Scrinium Antiquar. torn. i. pp. 321, 326, 327. 
Thuani Hist, ad an. 1548. 

t Beza? Icones, sig. Hh. iij. Hist, des Martyrs, f. 414, 446. Ge- 
neve, 1597. 


for a time from urging its claims without relin- 
quishing them, and dexterously to avail itself of 
events which crossed its wishes in any instance, for 
the purpose of advancing its general designs. The 
Neapolitans had twice successfully resisted the es- 
tablishment of the inquisition in their country, at 
the beginning of the sixteenth century. In 1546', 
the emperor Charles V., with the view of extirpat- 
ing the Lutheran heresy, renewed the attempt, and 
gave orders to set up that court in Naples, after the 
same form in which it had long been established in 
Spain. This measure created the greatest discontent, 
and one day as the officers of the inquisition were 
conducting some individuals to prison, the inhabi- 
tants, having released the prisoners, rose in arms, 
and broke out into open tumult. The revolt was 
suppressed by military force, but it was judged 
prudent to abandon the design. Nothing could be 
conceived more agreeable to the court of Rome than 
this formidable tribunal; yet they took the part of 
the people against the government of Naples, and 
encouraged them in their opposition, by telling 
them that they had reason for their fears, be- 
cause the inquisition of Spain was extremely 
severe, and refused to profit by the example of 
that of Rome, of which none had had reason to 
complain during the three years in which it had ex- 
isted.* They pursued the same line of policy when 
Philip II., at a subsequent period, endeavoured to 

* Limborch, vol. i. p. 143. Llorente, torn. i. p. 332 ; ii. 118, 121. 


establish his favourite tribunal in the duchy of Milan. 
The reigning pontiff, Pius IV., was at first favourable 
to that scheme, from which he anticipated effectual 
aid to his measures in keeping down the reformed 
opinions ; but finding that the Milanese were deter- 
mined to resist the innovation, and had engaged the 
greater part of the Italian bishops on their side, his 
holiness told the deputies who came to beg his in- 
tercession in their favour, that " he knew the ex- 
treme rigour of the Spanish inquisitors," and would 
take care that the inquisition should be maintain- 
ed in Milan as formerly in dependence on the court 
of Rome, " whose decrees respecting the mode of pro- 
cess were very mild, and reserved to the accused the 
most entire liberty of defending themselves." * This 
language was glaringly hypocritical, and quite irre- 
concilable with the conduct of the reigning pontiff, 
as well as that of his predecessors, who had all sup- 
ported the Spanish inquisition, and given their for- 
mal sanction to the most cruel and unjust of its 
modes of procedure. But it served the purpose of 
preserving the authority of the holy see entire, and 
of reconciling the minds of the Italians to the court 
which had been lately erected at Rome. The Roman 
inquisition was founded on the same principles as that 
of Spain, nor did the forms of process in the two 
courts differ in any essential or material point; and 
yet the horror which the inhabitants of Italy had con- 
ceived at the idea of the latter induced them to sub- 
mit without reluctance to the former : so easy is it, by 

* Liraborch and Llorente, ut supra. 


a little management and humouring of their preju- 
dices, to deprive the people of their liberties. 

The peaceable establishment of the inquisition 
in Italy was decisive of the unfortunate issue of 
the movements in favour of religious reform in that 
country. This iniquitous and cruel tribunal could 
never obtain a footing either in France or in 
Germany. The attempt to introduce it into the 
Netherlands was resisted by the adherents of the 
old as well as the patrons of the new religion ; and 
it kindled a civil war, which, after a bloody and 
protracted struggle, issued in rending seven flourish- 
ing provinces from the Spanish crown, and esta- 
blishing civil and religious liberty in them. The 
ease with which it was introduced into Italy, show- 
ed that, whatever illumination there was among the 
Italians, and however desirous they might be to share 
in those blessings which other nations had secured 
to themselves, they were destitute of that public spi- 
rit and energy of principle which would have ena- 
bled them to shake off the degrading yoke by which 
they were oppressed. Popish historians do more 
homage to truth than credit to their cause, 
when they say that the erection of the inqui- 
sition was the salvation of the catholic religion 
in Italy. * No sooner was this engine of ty- 
ranny and torture erected, than those who had ren- 
dered themselves obnoxious to it by the previous 
avowal of their sentiments, fled in great numbers 
from a country in which they could no longer look 

* Pallavicinij Istor. Concil. Trent, lib. xiv. c. 0. 


for protection from injustice and cruelty. The pri- 
sons of the inquisition were everywhere filled with 
those who remained behind, and who, according to 
the policy of that court, were retained for years in 
silent and dark durance, with the view of inspiring 
their friends with dread, and of subduing their own 
minds to a recantation of their sentiments. With the 
exception of a few places, the public profession which 
had been made of the protestant religion was sup- 
pressed. Its friends, however, were still numer- 
ous ; many of them were animated by the most ar- 
dent attachment to the cause ; they continued to 
encourage and edify one another in their private 
meetings ; and it required all the exertions and vio- 
lence of the inquisitors during twenty years to dis- 
cover and exterminate them. 

It was natural for the protestants, when over- 
taken by the storm, to retreat to the court of Fer- 
rara, where they had found shelter at an early pe- 
riod. But the court of Rome had taken the pre- 
caution of gaining over the duke, and securing his 
co-operation in its measures against the reformers. 
The effects of this change were first felt at Moclena. 
We have already adverted to the countenance which 
the reformed opinions received from the members 
of the academy erected in that city. To detach 
persons of such celebrity from the protestant party, 
four of the most eminent members of the conclave 
were now employed. Sadolet corresponded with Lu- 
dovico Castelvetro, who was regarded as the most 
influential person in the academy, and exerted all 
his eloquence to persuade him and his colleagues to 


persevere in their obedience to the see of Rome.* 
The affair, however, was managed chiefly by the 
moderation and address of cardinal Morone, who 
was at this time bishop of Modena, and generally 
thought to be no enemy to ecclesiastical reform. 
Being desirous that such of his flock as had been 
infected with the new opinions should be reconciled 
to the church in the easiest manner,-)- he prevailed 
on his colleague Contarini, whose views coincided 
with his own, to draw up a formulary of faith to be 
subscribed by them. This he put into the hands of 
some of the leading persons who were inclined to 
the reformed doctrine, and listened with much con- 
descension to the objections which they started 
against particular expressions in it. Their objec- 
tions related chiefly to the sacraments ; the docu- 
ment having been expressed in such a manner as to 
be satisfactory to them, so far as it related to matters 
of faith4 Among the persons consulted by the bishop 
were Don Hieronymo da Sassolo, and Don Giovanni 
Poliziano, called also de' Berettari, a priest, a mem- 
ber of the academy, and distinguished as an Italian 
poet, who having been summoned to Rome on 
a charge of heresy, and not appearing, was laid 
under an excommunication, from which, however, 
he had been lately relieved through the interces- 

* Tiraboschi, tomo vii. pp. 169, 170. 

t Beccatelli, Vita del Card. Contarini, sect. 33. 

j Letter from Card. Morone to Card. Contarini, 3d July 1 5 12. (Poli 
Epist. vol. iii. p. cclxxxiv.) Morone says : " Ben priego V. S. Reveren- 
diss. non lascia che queste mie lettere vadino in mano d'altre, die del- 
li suoi fedcli Secietari." 


sion of friends.* To give the greater solemnity to 
the transaction, cardinals Morone, Contarini, Sado- 
leti and Cortese, with several other ecclesiastics of 
rank, assembled at Modena, in September 1542, 
when the formulary was subscribed in their presence 
by the members of the academy and the principal 
citizens. Franciscus Portus, a native of Candia, who 
at this time read lectures on Greek in the city, gave 
great offence by absenting himself on the day of 
subscription ; but he appears to have afterwards 
set his name to the articles.f 

This accommodation of the differences at Modena 
was, however, of short duration. In the year 1544, 
two Conventual friars of the order of St. Francis, the 
one named Pergala, and the other Pontremolo, were 
thrown into prison, and subjected to punishment for 
venting the new opinions from the pulpit ; and the 
academicians again incurred the suspicion of heresy4 
The most obnoxious of these was Filippo Valentino, 
a young nobleman of great precocity of intellect 
and versatility of genius.J Pellegrino Erri, a mem- 
ber of the academy, having received an affront from 

* Muratori, Vita del Castelvetro ; Opere Critiche, p. 18. 

t Ibid. pp. 19, 20. Tiraboschi, vii. 17 0. To this affair cardinal 
Pole probably refers, when, in writing to Contarini, he tells him that 
the marchioness of Pescara gave thanks to God, per il gran dono di 
charita, il qual risplende piu in quello santo negozio di Modena." 
(Poli Epist. vol. iii. p. 58.) 

X Tiraboschi, vii. 171. 

Castelvetro says, that at seven years of age he composed letters in a 
style worthy of Cicero, and sonnets and canzoni which would have done 
honour to a poet of mature age. He could repeat verbatim sermons 
or lectures which he had heard only once ; and had the principal poets 
in Latin and Italian by heart. (Muratori, ut supra, pp. 21, 22.) 



some of the members, went to Rome, and gave in- 
formation to the Holy Office, that the literati of his 
native city were generally disaffected to the catholic 
church, and that some of them were industrious in 
disseminating their heretical sentiments in private.* 
In consequence of this, the pope addressed a brief 
to the duke of Ferrara, stating, that he had received 
information, that the Lutheran heresy was daily 
gaining ground in Modena, and that the author and 
prime cause of this was that son of wickedness, 
Filippo Valentino, on which account his holiness, 
knowing how grieving this must be to a person of 
the duke's piety, requires him to cause the said Fi- 
lippo to be immediately seized, and to detain him at 
the instance of the pope ; so that, the ringleader being 
quelled, his accomplices might be reduced to obedi- 
ence, and a stop put to the alarming evil.f Erri 
returned to Modena in the character of apostoli- 
cal commissary ; and attended by an armed force, 

* That Erri was a man of learning, and acquainted with Hebrew, 
appears from the following work : " I Salmi di David, tradotti con 
bellissimo e dotissimo stile dalla lingua Ebrea, nella Latina e volgare, 
dal S. Pellegrino Heri Modonesse." The dedication by the author, 
to Conte Fulvio Rangone, is dated "Di Modena il i de Gennaio, 
1568 ;" but the work was published at Venice in 1573, with a preface 
by Giordan Ziletti. Riederer, who has given extracts, both from the 
translation and notes, says : " Ich bin versichert, wenn man das Buch 
geniiuer prufen wolte, man wurde viele Spuren eines heimlichen Pro- 
testanten, der doch noch die ausere Gemeinschaft der Rdm. Kirche 
beybehalten und der Inquisition sich nicht bios geben wollen, darin- 
nen finden." (Nachrichten zur Kirchen-Gelevten und Biicher-Ges- 
cbichte, torn. iv. p. 28.) The learned writer was mistaken in suppos- 
ing Heri to be a protestant. 

t Raynaldi Annal. ad an. 1545. 



which lie had procured from the civil power, came 
one night to the house of Filippo to apprehend him. 
The latter having received warning of the design, 
had made his escape ; but his books and papers were 
seized by the inquisition, which proved the occasion 
of great trouble to many of his fellow-citizens, and 
especially those who had lived on terms of the 
greatest intimacy with him. After remaining for 
some time concealed, Filippo had sufficient influence 
to get himself elected to the office of podesta, or chief 
magistrate, of Trent, which protected him from the 
attacks of his enemies.* Matters being quieted 
in his native city, he ventured to return to it in the 
course of a few years ; but in the year 1556 a new 
storm arose. The inquisitors commenced a strict 
search after heretics, and many were committed to 
prison. Ludovico Castelvetro, Filippo Valentino, 
his cousin, Bonifacio, provost of the cathedral 
church of Modena, and Antonio Gadaldino, a printer, 
were cited, as persons of the greatest note, to appear 
before the office of the Congregation at Rome. The 
two last were apprehended and conducted under a 
guard to the capital, where they were thrown into 
the prisons of the inquisition. Gadaldino was con- 
victed of having sold heretical books at Modena, and 
detained in prison. Bonifacio Valentino, having 
confessed his errors, made a solemn and public re- 
cantation in the church of Minerva at Rome, on the 
6th day of May 1558, and being sent back to Mo- 

* Muratori, ut supra, pp. 21 23. 


dena, went through the same ceremony, on the 
29th of that month, in his own cathedral church. 
Castelvetro and Filippo Valentino, perceiving the 
danger to which they were exposed, had consulted 
their safety by flight, in consequence of which sen- 
tence of excommunication was passed against them 
at Rome for contumacy.* 

While these measures were taken at Modena, the 
papal court was still more intent on extirpating the 
reformed opinions in Ferrara, which they regarded 
as the great nursery and hotbed of heresy in Italy. 
In the year 1545, his holiness addressed a brief to 
the ecclesiastical authorities of that place, requiring 
them to institute a strict investigation into the con- 
duct of persons of every rank and order, who were 
suspected of entertaining erroneous sentiments, and 
after having taken the depositions, applied the torture, 
and brought the trial as far as the definitive sen- 
tence, to transmit the whole process to Rome for 
judgment.f The distress caused by the execution 
of this mandate was greatly increased by a base ex- 
pedient lately adopted for discovering those who 
wavered in their attachment to the church of Rome. 
A horde of commissioned spies were dispersed over 
Italy, who, by means of the recommendations with 
which they were furnished, got admission into fami- 
lies, insinuated themselves into the confidence of in- 
dividuals, and conveyed the secret information which 

* Tassoni Cronaca MS. ; apud Tiraboschi, vii. 11(59. 
t Raynaldi Annal. ad an. 1545. 


they obtained in this way to the inquisitors. As- 
suming a variety of characters, they haunted the 
company of the learned and illiterate, and Were to 
be found equally in courts and cloisters.* A num- 
ber of excellent persons at Ferrara were caught in 
the toils spread by these pests of society. They 
succeeded in alienating: the mind of the duke from 
the accomplished Olympia Morata, who, having 
left the palace on the death of her father,f to take 
charge of her widowed mother and the younger 
branches of the family, was treated in a very harsh 
and ungrateful manner by the court ; and would have 
suffered still worse treatment, had not a German stu- 
dent of medicine married her and carried her along 
with him to his native country, f- The persecution 
became more severe, when, on the death of Paul III., 
the papal chair was filled by cardinal De Monte, under 
the title of Julius III. While this indolent pontiff wal- 
lowed in voluptuousness,^ he signed, without scruple 
or remorse, the most cruel orders which were dic- 
tated by those to whom he intrusted the manage- 
ment of public affairs. In the year 1550, the reformed 

* Calcagnini Opera, p. 169. Olympian Morata? Opera, pp. 102, 1 11. 
In writings of that time, these spies are called Corycceans. Vide Sui- 

da? Lex. VOC. xaguxcciog. 

t He died in 1548. 

% Olympia? Morata? Opera, pp. 93 95. Noltenii Vita Olympian 
pp. 122 125. Her husband's name was Andrew Grunthler, whose 
life is to be seen in Mclch. Adam. Vit. Medic. Germ. Conf. Englerti 
Franconic. Acta, vol. ii. p. 269. Nolten says that the duchess also 
was alienated from her ; but Olympia herself does not state this. 

Bayle, Diet. art. Julius III. Tiraboschi, vii. 27. 


church, which had subsisted for a number of years at 
Ferrara, was dispersed ; many were thrown into pri- 
son, and one of their preachers, a person of great pie- 
ty, was put to death.* Olympia Morata writes on this 
subject :f " We did not come here with the inten- 
tion of returning to Italy ; for you are not ignorant 
how dangerous it is to profess Christianity in that 
country where antichrist has his throne. I hear 
that the rage against the saints is at present so vio- 
lent, that former severities were but child's play 
compared with those which are practised by the new 
pope, who cannot, like his predecessor, be moved by 
entreaties and intercession." And in another letter, 
she says :t " I learn from letters which I have lately 
received from Italy, that the Christians are treated 
with great cruelty at Ferrara ; neither high nor low 
are spared ; some are imprisoned, others banished* 
and others obliged to save their lives by flight." 

The success of these measures in abolishing the face 
of a reformed church, and silencing all opposition 
to the established faith, in Ferrara, did not give sa- 
tisfaction at Rome. All this availed nothing in the 
eyes of the clergy, so long as there remained one 

* Actiones et Monhnenta Martyrum, f. 163. Joan. Crispin. 1560, 
tto. Olympian Morata? Opera, p. 102. 

+ To Celio Secundo Curionc: Olympian Opcr. p. 101. 

J To Chilian Senapi : Ibid. p. 143. conf. p. 158; where, after 
speaking of some of her acquaintance who had weakly renounced their 
faith, she says to Vergerio, " Matrem vero meam constantem fuisse 
in illis turbis, Deo gratias agimus, eique totum acceptum referimus. 
Earn oravi, ut ex ilia Babylonia una cum sororibus ad nos proficisca- 


individual, occupying the place nearest the prince, 
who scrupled to yield obedience to their authority. 
The high rank and distinguished accomplishments 
of the duchess of Ferrara aggravated, instead 
of extenuating, the offence which she had given 
to the clergy, who resolved to humble her pride 
if they could not subdue her firmness. Renee, 
while she did not conceal her partiality to the re- 
formed sentiments, testified great dissatisfaction at 
the late persecution, and had exerted herself in 
every way within her power to protect those who 
were exposed to its violence. Repeated and strong- 
representations were made by the pope to the 
duke, her husband, on this head. He was told that 
the minds of his children and servants were cor- 
rupted, and the most pernicious example held out 
to his subjects ; that the house of Este, which had 
been so long renowned for the purity of its faith 
and its fealty to the holy see, was in danger of con- 
tracting the indelible stain of heresy ; and that if he 
did not speedily abate the nuisance, he would expose 
himself to the censures of the church, and lose the 
favour of all catholic princes. In consequence of 
this, Hercules pressed the duchess to avert the dis- 
pleasure of his holiness by renouncing the new opi- 
nions, and conforming herself to the rites of the 
established worship. As she persisted in refusing 
to sacrifice her convictions, recourse was had to fo- 
reign influence. Whether it was with the view of 
overcoming the reluctance which her husband tes- 
tified to proceed to extremities, or of affording him 
a plausible excuse for adopting those severe mea- 


sures which he had previously agreed to, the pope 
procured the interference of the king of France, who 
was nephew to the duchess. Henry II. according- 
ly sent Oritz,* his inquisitor, to the court of Ferra- 
ra. His instructions bore, that he was to acquaint 
himself accurately with the extent to which the 
mind of the duchess was infected with error ; he 
was then to request a personal interview with 
her, at which he was to inform her of the great 
grief which his most Christian Miijesty had con- 
ceived at hearing that " his only aunt," whom he 
had always loved and esteemed so highly, had in- 
volved herself in the labyrinth of these detestable 
and condemned opinions ; if, after all his remon- 
strances and arguments, he could not recover her 
by gentle means, he was next, with the concur- 
rence of the duke, to endeavour to bring her to rea- 
son by rigour and severity : he was to preach a 
course of sermons on the principal points on which 
she had been led astray, at which she and all her 
family should be obliged to attend, " whatever re- 
fusal or objection she might think proper to make :" 

* This appears to have been the same individual of whom we read 
at an earlier period of the history of France. ' f Notre Maiire Oris," 
the Inquisitor of the faith, was in the year 1534, sent to Sancerre to 
search for heretics ; hut the inhabitants, aware of his fondness for 
good cheer, treated him with such hospitality that he reported them 
to be a very good sort of people. His depute, Ilocheli, returned 
with the same report. Upon which the Lieutenant Criminel, cha- 
grined at missing his prey, said, that " good wine would at any time 
make all these fellows quiet." (Beze, Hist, des Eglises Ref. de France, 
torn. i. p. 20.) But " Notre Maitre" was then but young, and had 
not yet tasted blood. 


if this proved unsuccessful in reclaiming her, he 
was next, in her presence, to entreat the duke, in 
his majesty's name, to " sequester her from all so- 
ciety and conversation," that she might not have 
it in her power to taint the minds of others, to re- 
move her children from her, and not to allow any 
of the family, of whatever nation they might be, 
who were accused or strongly suspected of heretical 
sentiments, to approach her ; in fine, he was to bring 
them to trial, and to pronounce a sentence of exem- 
plary punishment on such as were found guilty, 
only leaving it to the duke to give such directions 
as to the mode of process and the infliction of the 
punishment as that the affair might terminate, so 
far as justice permitted, without scandal or bringing 
any public stigma on the duchess and her depend- 

The daughter of Louis XII., whose spirit was 
equal to her piety, spurned these conditions, and 
refusing to violate her conscience, her children were 
taken from under her management, her confidential 
servants proceeded against as heretics, and she her- 
self detained as a prisoner in the palace, f Renee 
could have borne the insolence of Oritz, but felt in 
the keenest manner the upbraidings of her husband, 
who, without listening to her exculpations, told 
her she must prepare herself to conform uncondi- 
tionally, and without delay, to the practices of the 

* Le Laboureur, Additions aux Memoires de Michel de Castelnau, 
torn. i. p. 717. 
t Ibid. p. 718. 


Roman church ; an unnatural demonstration of 
zeal on the part of Hercules, which the court of 
Rome rewarded, at a subsequent period, by de- 
priving his grandson of the dukedom of Ferrara, 
and adding it to the possessions of the church.* The 
duchess continued for some time to bear with great 
fortitude the harsh treatment which she received, 
aggravated as it was by various acts of unkindness 
from her husband ; but, on the accession of that tru- 
culent pontiff, Paul IV., in the year 1555, the perse- 
cution began to rage with greater violence ; and it 
would seem that the threats with which she was 
anew assailed, together with the desire which she 
felt to be restored to the society of her children, in- 
duced her to relent and make concessions. t On the 
death of the duke in 1559, she returned to France 
and took up her residence in the castle of Montar- 
gis, where she made open profession of the reformed 
religion, and extended her protection to the perse- 
cuted protestants. The duke of Guise, her son-in- 

* Giovannandrea Barotti, Diffesa degli Scrittori Ferraresi, p. 112. 
Muratori, Annali d'ltalia, torn. x. pp. 553 558. 

+ Calvin, in a letter to Farel, says : " De Ducissa Ferrariensi tristis 
nuncius, et certius quain vellem, minis et probris victara cecidisse. 
Quid dicam nisi rarura in proceribus esse constantiae exemplum." 
(Senebier, catalogue des Manuscrits dans la Bibliotheque de Geneve, 
p. 274-5.) Mons. Senebier informs us tbat this letter is dated " du 
1 Novembre," and he places it under the year 1554; but as Calvin 
speaks in it of the defence which he had written for the Consensus, or 
agreement, among the Swiss churches respecting the sacrament of the 
Supper, and as the dedication of that work is dated, Nonis Januarii 
1556, the letter to Farel was most probably written in 1555. (Cal vi- 
lli Opera, torn. viii. p. GGO.) 


law, having one day come to the castle with an armed 
force, sent a messenger to inform her that, if she did 
not dismiss the rebels whom she harboured, he would 
batter the walls with his cannon, she boldly replied, 
" Tell your master, that I will myself mount the bat- 
tlements, and see if he dare kill a kind's daugh- 
ter."* Her eldest daughter, Anne of Este, " whose 
integrity of understanding and sensibility of heart 
were worthy of a better age,"f was married to the 
first Francis, duke of Guise, and afterwards to 
James of Savoy, duke of Nemours, two of the most 
determined supporters of the Roman catholic reli- 
gion in France ; and if she did not, like her mother, 
avow her friendship to the reformed cause, she ex- 
erted herself in moderating the violence of both her 
husbands against its friend s4 

Next to the dominions of the duke of Ferrara, the 
papal court felt most anxious for the suppression of 
the reformed doctrine within the territories of the 
Venetian republic. On the flight of Ochino, a ri- 
gorous inquisition was made into the sentiments of 
the Capuchins residing in that part of Italy.} For 

* Bayle, Diet. art. Ferrara, note F. 

-|- Condorcet, Eloge de Chancelier d'Hopital. 

J Bayle says that she became zealous against the Hugonots dur- 
ing the League, which he imputes to the remembrance of the assas- 
sination of her first husband by Poltrot ; but he produces no autho- 
rity for his assertion. Calcagnini, Riccio, Paleario, Rabelais, St. 
Marthe, De Thou, and Condorcet, have vied with each other in ex- 
tolling this amiable princess. There is a beautiful letter of OJympia 
Morata, addressed " Anna? Estensi, principi Guisiana?," in the print- 
ed works of the former, pp. 130 133. 

Bock, Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. p. 4.96. 


several years after this, the pope ceased not to urge 
the senate, both by letters and by nuncios, to root out 
the Lutheran heresy which had been embraced by 
many of their subjects, especially in Vicenza. Car- 
dinal Rodolfo, who was administrator of the bishop- 
ric of Vicenza, showed great zeal in this work ; but 
the local magistrates, either from personal aversion 
to the task, or because they knew that their supe- 
riors did not wish the orders which they had pub- 
licly given to be carried into execution, declined 
lending the assistance of the secular arm. Informa- 
tion of this having been conveyed to Rome, the 
pope, in 1546, addressed a long and earnest brief 
to the senate, in which, after complimenting them 
on their zeal for religion and fidelity to the holy see, 
and telling them that innovation in religion would 
lead to civil dissensions and sedition among them, 
as it had done elsewhere, he complained loudly of 
the conduct of the podesta and capitano of Vicen- 
za, who, instead of obeying the commands which 
had been repeatedly given them, allowed the Lu- 
theran doctrines to be openly professed before 
the eyes of their masters, and of the univer- 
sal council which had been called, and was now 
assembled at Trent, chiefly for the purpose of extir- 
pating these heresies ; on which account his holi- 
ness earnestly required the doge and senators to en- 
join these magistrates more peremptorily to com- 
pensate for their past negligence, by yielding every 
assistance to the vicars of the diocese in seizing and 



punishing the heretics.* The senate complied with 
this request, and issued orders which led to the dis- 
sipation of the church at Vicenza.f 

They adopted similar measures in the rest of 
their dominions. In the year 1548, an edict was 
published, commanding all who had books opposed 
to the catholic faith to deliver them up within 
eight days, at the risk of being proceeded against 
as heretics ; and offering a reward to informers.:}: 
This was followed by great severities against the 
protestants in Venice, and in all the territories of 
that republic. " The persecution here increases 
every day," writes Altieri. " Many are seized, of 
whom some have been sent to the galleys, others 
condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and some, 
alas ! have been induced, by fear of punishment, to 
recant. Many also have been banished along with 
their wives and children, while still greater num- 
bers have fled for their lives. Matters are come to 
that pass, that I begin to fear for myself; for 
though I have frequently been able to protect others 
in this storm, there is reason to apprehend that the 

* Raynaldi Annales, ad an. 

t Ibid. This is the persecution by which Socinian writers say that 
their colleges were dispersed. (See before, p. 154.) But the only he- 
resy mentioned in the apostolical brief, or by the annalist, is the Lu- 
theran ; and it is reasonable to suppose, that, if it had been known 
that antitrinitarians existed in that place, they would have been spe- 
cified, as we find they were in a subsequent bull. (See before, p. 158.) 

X Thuani Hist, ad an. 1548. Surius, apud Bock, Hist. Antitrin. 
torn. ii. p. 41G. 


same hard terms will be proposed to me ; but it is 
the will of God that his people be tried by such afflic- 
tions."* Altieri exerted himself with the most 
laudable and unwearied zeal in behalf of his bre- 
thren. He not only procured letters in their fa- 
vour from the elector of Saxony and other German 
princes, for whom he acted as agent with the Ve- 
netian republic ; but he undertook a journey into 
Switzerland, with the express view of persuading 
the protestant cantons to exert their influence in 
the same cause. On his way home he attended an 
assembly of the deputies of the Grison confederation 
at Coire, where he pleaded the cause of his perse- 
cuted countrymen. In both places he succeeded so 
far as to obtain letters interceding for lenity to the 
protestants ; but he was disappointed in his expec- 
tations of procuring a public commission to act for 
these states, which would have given great weight 
to any representations which he might make to the 
doge and senate. The authorities in Switzerland, 
and in the Grisons, might have good reasons for re- 
fusing his request ; but we cannot help sympathiz- 
ing with the disappointment, and even with the 
complaints, of this good man, as well as admirino- 
the rare example which he gave of disinterested 
devotion to the cause of truth and the best inte- 
rests of his country, at a time when the greater 

* Alterius ad Bullingerum, d. 24. Mart. 15 19, Venetiis : De Porta, 
Hist. Reform. Eccles. Rha?ticarum, torn. ii. p. 32. Curia? Rhan. 
1774, 4to. 


part either knew them not, or cared not for them. In 
a letter from Coire to Bullinger, a distinguished mi- 
nister of Zurich, he says : " I have delivered your 
letters and those of Myconius to the ministers of 
this church ; I have also conversed with them on my 
business, but find them rather lukewarm, either be- 
cause this is their natural disposition, or because 
they think the matter too difficult to be obtained, 
especially after your friends in Switzerland have 
refused it. They, however, give me some hopes of 
success."* In another letter to the same correspond- 
ent, he writes : " From the assembly of the Grison 
states, which has been held here, I have only been 
able to obtain commendatory letters ; had it not 
been for the opposition made by some enemies of 
religion, I would have also obtained a public com- 
mission. They have concluded a treaty with 
France : the emperor's ambassador was present, 
but could do nothing."! After mentioning the 
discouragements he had met with from those of 
whom he had hoped better things, he exclaims : 
" Thus do the minds of men now cleave to the 
world ! If the Spirit of the Lord had not long ago 
taken possession of my heart, I would have follow- 
ed the common example, and hiding myself in some 
corner, would have attended to my private affairs, 
instead of taking an active part in the cause of 
Christ. But God forbid that I should entertain the 

* Curia, ult. Jan. 1549 : De Porta, ut supra, p. 34. 
t Julii 22, 1549: Ibid. 


blasphemous thought of desisting to labour for him, 
who never ceased labouring in my cause until he had 
endured the reproach of the cross. Therefore, I re- 
turn to Italy as ready as before to encounter whatever 
may befall me, and willing to be bound for the name 
of Christ."* Before leaving the Grisons he receiv- 
ed intelligence that the persecution was daily wax- 
ing hotter at Venice. " It is not, therefore, with- 
out danger that I return," says he " for you know 
how much I am hated by the papists and wicked. 
I do not undertake the journey rashly : God will 
preserve me from all evil : do you pray for me."f 
On his arrival at Venice, he found that his enemies 
had incensed the magistrates against him ; and on 
refusing to renounce his religion, he was ordered 
instantly to quit the territories of the republic. 
Without hesitation he chose the latter, but being 
unwilling to despair of the reformation of his na- 
tive country, and anxious to be at hand to lend 
succour to his suffering brethren, he lingered in 
Italy, wandered from one city to another, and when 
he durst no longer appear in public, sought an 
asylum in a retired place for himself, his wife, and 
an only child. Soon after his banishment from 
Venice he wrote to Bullinger : " Take the follow- 
ing particulars concerning my return to Italy. I 
am well with my wife and little child. As to other 
things : all the effect of my commendatory letters 

* Sangallo, 28 Jan. 154-9 : Ibid. 
+ Curia, 28 Jul. 16*9: Ibid. p. 96. 


was an offer on the part of the senate, that I should 
be allowed to remain in safety among them, pro- 
vided I would yield conformity to their religion, 
that is, the Roman ; otherwise it behoved me to 
withdraw without delay from all their dominions. 
Having given myself to Christ, I chose exile rather 
than to enjoy pleasant Venice, with its execrable re- 
ligion. I departed accordingly, and went first to Fer- 
rara, and afterwards to Florence."* In another let- 
ter, written from his place of hiding somewhere in 
the territory of Brescia, he says : " Know that I am 
in great trouble and danger of my life, nor is there 
a place in Italy where I can be safe with my wife 
and boy. My fears for myself increase daily, for I 
know the wicked will never rest till they have swal- 
lowed me up alive. Give me a share in your 
prayers."f These are the last accounts we have of 
this excellent person. It is probable that he never 
escaped from Italy, and that his fate will remain a 
secret until the horrid mysteries of the Roman in- 
quisition shall be disclosed. 

When the protestants were treated in this man- 
ner in the capital, we need not be surprised to find 
the magistrates of Venice permitting the greatest se- 
verities to be used against them in their more distant 
provinces. This was particularly the case in Istria, 
where the agents of Rome were irritated beyond 
measure by the more than suspected defection of the 

* Epist. ad Bulling. Ex itinere, 2.5 Aug. 1549: De Porta, ut 
supra, p. 35. 

t Ad Bulling. Ex agro Brixiano, prid. Kal. Nov. 1549 : Ibid. 


two Vergerii, the bishops of Capo (Tlstria and 
Pola. Annibale Grisone, who was sent into these 
dioceses as inquisitor, in the year 1546, spread dis- 
tress and alarm among the inhabitants. He read 
everywhere from the pulpits the papal bull, re- 
quiring all, under the pain of excommunication, to 
inform against those whom they suspected of here- 
sy, and to deliver up the prohibited books which 
might be in their possession. Those who confessed 
and supplicated forgiveness he promised to treat 
with lenity, but threatened to condemn to the fire 
all who, concealing their crime, should he convict- 
ed on information. Not satisfied with public denun- 
ciations, he entered into every house in search of 
heretical books. Such as confessed that they had 
read the New Testament in the vulgar tongue, he 
charged to abstain from that dangerous practice for 
the future, under the severest pains. The rich he 
subjected to private penance, and obliged the poor 
to make a public recantation. At first, only a few 
individuals of weaker minds were induced to in- 
form against themselves or their acquaintances ; 
but at last consternation seized the multitude, and 
every one became afraid that his neighbour would 
get the start of him in giving information. The 
ties of consanguinity and gratitude were disregard- 
ed : the son did not spare his father, nor the wife 
her husband, nor the client his patron. Taking ad- 
vantage of the agitated state of the public mind, 
Grisone ascended the pulpit, in the cathedral of Capo 
d'Istria, on a high festival day ; and after celebrat- 


ing mass, harangued the crowded assembly. " You 
see (said he) the calamities which have befallen you 
for some years past. At one time your fields, at 
another your olive trees, at another your vines have 
failed ; you have been afflicted in your cattle, and 
in the whole of your substance. To what are all 
these evils to be ascribed ? To your bishop and the 
other heretics among you ; nor can you expect any 
alleviation of your distress until they are punish- 
ed. Why do you not rise up and stone them ?" So 
much were the ignorant and frightened populace in- 
flamed, that Vergerio found it necessary to conceal 

In the midst of this confusion, the bishop of 
Pola died, not without suspicion of having been 
carried off by poison.* His brother withdrew, and 
took refuge at Mantua with his patron, cardinal 
Gonzaga, who soon dismissed him, in consequence of 
the representations made by the noted Delia Casa, 
the papal nuncio, resident at Venice. Upon this 
Vergerio went to the council of Trent, with the 
view of vindicating himself; or, as some state, of 
demanding his seat in that assembly. The pope 
would have ordered him to be arrested, but was 
afraid of giving any reason for asserting that the 
council was not free, at a time when he professed 
to wish the attendance of the German protestants. 
In order to obtain the removal of so dangerous a 

* A work by the bishop was afterwards published by his brother, 
with this title: " Esposizione e Parafrasi sopra il Salmo cxix. di M. 
Gio. Battista Vergerio Vescovo di Pola, data d. 6. Gcnnajo, 1550." 
(De Porta, Hist. Ref. Rhcet. torn. ii. p. 151.) 


person from Trent, the papal legates agreed to su- 
persede the summons which had been given him to 
appear at Rome, and remitted the trial of the charges 
exhibited against him to the nuncio and patriarch 
of Venice. Vergerio managed his defence with such 
address as to protract the trial for two years, at the 
end of which he was prohibited from returning to 
his diocese.* At that time Francesco Spira, a lawyer 
of Padua, died in a state of great mental horror, in 
consequence of his having been induced, by the ter- 
rors of the inquisition, to recant the protestant faith. 
Vergerio, who had come from Venice to Padua, saw 
him on his death-bed, and joined with some other 
learned and pious persons in attempting to comfort 
the wretched penitent.f The scene made such a 
deep impression on the mind of Vergerio, that he 

" Pallavicini, lib. vi. cap. 13. Tiraboschi, vii. 380. 

t The History of Spira was first published by Vergerio, at Tubingen 
in 1558, in Letters from Celio S. Curio, Matthaeus Gribaldus, a native 
of Padua, Sigisraundus Gelous, a Pole, and Henricus Scotus. The 
last named was our countryman, Henry Scrimger. In the Library of 
the University of Leyden, I met with a manuscript volume, containing, 
among others, a letter from Calvin to Bullinger, dated " 15th August 
1549," in which he writes: " I received lately a letter from Paulus 
Vergerius, along with a History of Franciscus Spira, which he wishes 
printed here. He says the chief cause of his being obliged to leave 
his native country was that the pope, irritated by this book, laid 
snares for his life. At present he is residing in the Grisons, but ex- 
presses a strong desire to see me. I have not yet read the history, but, 
so far as I can judge from a slight glance, it is written with some- 
what more prudence and gravity than in the letters translated by 
Celio. When I have read the work more carefully, I shall think 
of the preface which he urges me to write for it." The history was 
printed in 1550, with a preface by Calvin. (Miscell. Groningana, 
torn. iii. p. 109.) 


determined to relinquish his bishopric and native 
country, and to seek an asylum in a place where he 
could with safety make a public profession of the 
truth which he had embraced. " To tell the truth," 
says he, " I felt such a flame in my breast, that I 
could scarcely restrain myself at times from going 
to the chamber-door of the legate at Venice, and 
crying out, * Here I am: where are your prisons and 
your fires ? Satisfy your utmost desire upon me ; 
burn me for the cause of Christ, I beseech you, since 
I have had an opportunity of comforting the miser- 
able Spira, and of publishing what it was the will 
of God should be published.' "* In the end of the 
year 1548, he carried his purpose into execution, 
by retiring into the Grisons, to the surprise equal- 
ly of those whom he deserted, and of those whom 
he joined, j- 

The inquisitor Grisone was succeeded by Tom- 
maso de Santo Stella, who, after irritating the in- 
habitants by his vexatious proceedings, endeavour- 
ed to persuade the senate of Venice to put garri- 
sons into their principal cities, under the pretext 
that Vergerio meditated an invasion of Istria. J 
This gave the latter an occasion to publish a de- 
fence of his conduct, addressed to the dog-e and se- 
nate, in which, beside complaining of the insidious 
and violent methods adopted by the firebrands of 

Historia Spiera?, apud De Porta, torn. ii. p. 144. 

f Sleidan, lib. xxi. torn. iii. p. 123-4. Bayle, Diet. art. Vergier. 
(Pierre Paul.) Ughelli Italia Sac. torn. v. p. 391. 

X Al Sereniss. Duce e alia Eccelsissima Rep. di Venezia, Orazione 
e Defensione del Vergerio, di Vico Suprano, A x Aprile, 1551 ; apud 
De Porta, tom.ii. p. 152. 


persecution through Italy,* he states several facts 
as to their conduct in the Venetian dominions. 
" Nothing (says he) can be more shameful than 
what this pope has done ; who, while there are 
many useless and godless bishops and archbishops 
in your state, has honoured and rewarded them ; 
and the bishop of Bergamo alone, who is your 
countryman of the house of Soranzo,f he has thrown 
into prison, for no other reason than that he stood 
up for residence, and testified a love and concern 
for evangelical doctrine, and a hatred to supersti- 
tion. What is it to exercise oppression and ty- 
ranny over you, if this is not ? Is it possible that 
this should not awaken you ?"| The senate about 
this time showed a disposition to check the violent 
proceedings of the papal agents, by opposing a 
stronger barrier to their encroachments on criminal 
jurisdiction. " The news from Italy are," says Ver- 
gerio, " that the senate of Venice have made a decree, 
that no papal legate, nor bishop, nor inquisitor shall 
proceed against any subject, except in the presence 
of a civil magistrate; and that the pope, enraged 

* Girolamo Muzio, who had fomented the persecution in Istria, and 
afterwards wrote against Vergerio, he thus characterises : " Un certo 
Muzio, le cui professione e di dettar cartello, e condurre gli uomini ad 
ammazzarsi negli steccati, e fatto Teologo papesco in tre giorni, e di 
piu Barigello de' papisti." In another work, (Giudicio sopra le Let- 
tere di XIII. Uomini Illustri,) he names, as the leading persecutors at 
a period somewhat later, the Archinti, Buldragi, Todeschini, FaU 
zetti, and Crivelli. 

t Laderchius mentions Victor Soranzius, bishop of Bergamo, among 
those whom he calls Valdesians, Lutherans, Zuinglians and Calvin- 
ists. (Annales ad an. 1567.) 

t Orazione e Defensione, ut supra, p. 253. 


at this, has fulminated a bull, interdicting, under 
the heaviest pains, any secular prince from inter- 
posing the least hindrance to trials for heresy. It re- 
mains to be seen whether the Venetians will obey."* 
But the court of Rome, by its perseverance and 
intrigues, ultimately triumphed over patrician jea- 
lousy. Even foreigners who visited the republic in 
the course of trade, were seized and detained by the 
inquisition. Frederic a Salice, who had been sent to Ve- 
nice from the republic of the Grisons, to demand the 
release of some of its subjects, gives the following 
account of the state of mattei-s in the year 1557 : 
" In this commonwealth, and in general through- 
out Italy, where the pope possesses what they call 
Spiritual jurisdiction, the faithful are subjected to 
the severest inquisition. Ample authority is given 
to the inquisitors, on the smallest information, to 
seize any one at their pleasure, to put him to the 
torture, and (what is worse than death) to send him 
to Rome ; which was not wont to be the case until 
the time of the reigning pontiff. I am detained here 
longer than I could wish, and know not when I 
shall be able to extricate myself from this laby- 
rinth"f Scarcely had this ambassador returned 
home, after accomplishing his object, when another 
of his countrymen, a merchant, was thrown into 
prison by the inquisition at Vicenza. To procure 
his release, it was necessary to dispatch Hercules a. 
Salice, late governor of the Grisons. His remon- 

* Vergerio al Gualt. On. Fratello; tli Samadenoin Agnedina, a' 24 
April. 1551 : De Forta, ut supra, p. 252. 
t De Porta, p. 299. 


strances, though seconded by the influence of the 
French ambassador, were for some time disregard- 
ed by the senate, who sought to evade the terms of 
the treaty between the two countries, and the con- 
cessions which they had made during the preceding 
year ; until, having demanded a public audience, he 
inveighed, amidst the murmurs of the elder patri- 
cians, with such bold eloquence against the intoler- 
able arrogance of the papal claims, that the majo- 
rity of the senate ordered the instant discharge of 
the prisoner.* 

In spite of the keen search made for them, many 
protestants still remained in the city of Venice. 
In the year 156*0, they sent for a minister to form 
them into a church, and had the Lord's supper 
administered to them in a private house. But 
soon after this, information having been given 
of their meetings by one of those spies whom the 
court of Rome kept in its pay, all who failed in 
making their escape were committed to prison. 
Numbers fled to the province of Istria ; and after 
concealing themselves there for some time, a party 
of them, amounting to twenty-three, purchased a ves- 
sel to carry them to a foreign country. When they 
were about to set sail, an avaricious foreigner, who 
had obtained a knowledge of their design, preferred 
a claim before the magistrates of the place against 
three of them for a debt which he alleged they 

* Ibid. p. 299 301. The ambassador was afterwards thanked by 
several of the senators, who admired the boldness with which he, be- 
ing a foreigner, and formerly in the military service of the republic, 
had dared to state what might have cost any patrician his life. 


owed him, and failing in his object of extorting the 
money, accused them as heretics who fled from jus- 
tice ; in consequence of which they were arrested, 
conveyed to Venice, and lodged in the same prisons 
with their brethren.* Hitherto the senate had not 
visited the protestants with capital punishment ; 
though it would appear that, before this period, 
the inquisitors had, in some instances, prevailed on 
the local magistrates of the remoter provinces to 
gratify them to that extent.f But now the senate 
yielded to those counsels which they had so long 
resisted ; and acts of cruelty commenced which con- 
tinued for years to disgrace the criminal jurisdic- 
tion of the republic. Drowning was the mode of 
death to which they doomed the protestants, either 
because it was less cruel and odious than committing 
them to the flames, or because it accorded with the 
customs of Venice. But if the autos da fe of the 
queen of the Adriatic were less barbarous than those 
of Spain, the solitude and silence with which they 
were accompanied was calculated to excite the deep- 
est horror. At the dead hour of midnight, the prison- 
er was taken from his cell, and put into a gondola or 
Venetian boat, attended only, beside the sailors, by a 
single priest, to act as confessor. He was rowed out 
into the sea beyond the Two Castles, where another 
boat was in waiting. A plank was then laid across the 
two gondolas, upon which the prisoner, having his 
body chained, and a heavy stone affixed to his feet, 

Histoire dcs Martyrs, f. 680, a Geneve, 1597, folio. 
| Calvini Epist. p. 85 : Oper. torn. ix. 


was placed ; and, on a signal given, the gondolas re- 
tiring from one another, he was precipitated into the 

The first person who appears to have suffered 
martyrdom at Venice, was Julio Guirlauda, a native 
of the Trevisano.f When set on the plank, he cheer- 
fully bade the captain farewell, and sank calling on 
the Lord Jesus4 Antonio Ricetto, of Vicenza, 
was held in such respect, that, subsequently to his 
conviction, the senators offered to restore him not 
only to his liberty, but also to the whole of his pro- 
perty, part of which had been sold, and the rest 
promised away, provided he would conform to the 
church of Rome. The firmness of Ricetto was put 
to a still severer test : his son, a boy of twelve years 
of age, having been admitted into the prison, fell at 
his feet, and supplicated him in the most melting 
strains, to accept of the offers made him, and not leave 
his child an orphan. The keeper of the prison hav- 

* Histoire des Martyrs, f. 681. De Porta, ii. 33. 

t The Socinian historians, formerly quoted, (p. 154, 220,) in giving 
an account of the suppression of their colleges at Vicenza in 1546, say 
that two individuals belonging to them, " Julius Trevisanus and 
Franciscus de Ruego were strangled at Venice." This could not have 
happened at that time; for it is a well-authenticated fact that none 
was capitally punished for religion at Venice before the year 1560. 
(Busdragi Epist. ut supra, p. 326. Histoire des Martyrs, f. 680.) 
But I have little doubt that the two persons referred to were Julio 
Guirlauda of the Trevisano, and Francesco Sega of Rovigo, mention- 
ed in the text as drowned ; and the Martyrology represents them as of 
the common protestant faith. The author of that work, speaking of 
their death, uses the phrase " persecuted par nouveaux Ebionites." 
Did the Socinian historians read pour instead of par? 

% On the 19th October, 1562. He was in his fortieth year. (Hist, 
des Martyrs, f. 680.) 


ing told him one day, with the view of inducing him 
to recant, that one of his companions had yielded, he 
merely replied, " What is that to me ?" And in the 
gondola, and on the plank, he retained his firmness ; 
praying for those who ignorantly put him to death, 
and commending his soul to his Saviour.* Frances- 
co Sega, a native of Rovigo, composed several pious 
works during his confinement, for the comfort of his 
fellow- prisoners, part of which was preserved after 
his death.f Francesco Spinula, a native of the 
Milanese, being a priest, was more severely ques- 
tioned than his brethren. He was thrice brought 
before the judges, and on one of these occasions the 
papal legate and a number of the chief clergy at- 
tended. In their presence, and when threatened 
with a fiery death, he professed openly the various 
articles of the protestant faith, and bore an explicit 
testimony against the usurpations of the pope, the 
doctrine of purgatory, and the invocation of saints. 
During a fit of sickness, brought on by the length and 
riffour of his confinement, some concessions were ex- 
torted from him, but on his recovery he instantly re- 
tracted them, and being formally degraded from the 
priesthood, obtained the same watery grave with 
his brethren.:]: But the most distinguished of those 

* He died on the 15th of February 1566. (Ibid.) 
f He was drowned ten days after Ricetto. (Ibid.) 
$ He suffered on the 31st of January 1567. (Ibid. p. 681.) 
Gerdes makes Spinula, the martyr, the same individual who composed 
the Latin poetical version of the Psalms, which has been several times 
printed along with that of Flaminio. (Spec. Italiie Ref. p. 336.) 


who suffered death at Venice, was the venerable 
Fra Baldo Lupetino.* The following account of 
him by his nephew, in a book now become very rare, 
deserves to be preserved entire. " The reverend 
Baldus Lupetinus, sprung from a noble and ancient 
family, a learned monk and provincial of the order 
to which he belonged, after having long preached 
the word of God in both the vulgar languages, (the 
Italian and Sclavonian) in many cities, and defend- 
ed it by public disputation in several places of cele- 
brity with great applause, was at last thrown into 
close prison at Venice, by the inquisitor and papal 
legate. In this condition he continued, during 
nearly twenty years, to bear an undaunted testi- 
mony to the gospel of Christ ; so that his bonds 
and doctrine were made known, not only to that 
city, but almost the whole of Italy, and by it to 
Europe at large, by which means evangelical truth 
was more widely spread. Two things, among many 
others, may be mentioned as marks of the singular 
providence of God towards this person during his 
imprisonment. In the first place, the princes of 
Germany often interceded for his liberation, but 
without success. And, secondly, on the other hand, 
the papal legate, the inquisitor, and even the pope 
himself, laboured with all their might, and by 
repeated applications, to have him from the very 
first committed to the flames, as a noted heresiarch. 
This was refused by the doge and senate, who, when 

* See before, p. 91. 


he was at last condemned, freed him from the pu- 
nishment of the fire by an express decree. It was 
the will of God that he should bear his testimony to 
the truth for so long a time ; and that, like a person 
affixed to a cross, he should, as from an eminence, 
proclaim to all the world the restoration of Christi- 
anity, and the revelation of antichrist. At last, this 
pious and excellent man, whom neither threatenings 
nor promises could move, sealed his doctrine by an 
undaunted martyrdom, and exchanged the filth and 
protracted tortures of a prison for a watery grave."* 
We have good reason to think that many others, 
whose names have not come down to us, suffered 
the same death at Venice ;f beside those who pe- 
rished by diseases contracted during a tedious and 
unwholesome imprisonment. Among the latter was 
Jeronimo Galateo, who evinced his constancy in 
the faith by enduring a rigorous confinement of 
ten years. I It may naturally be supposed that 
these violent measures would dissipate the protest- 

* Matth. Flacius, De Sectis, Dissensionibus, &c. Scriptorum Pon- 
tificiorum ; Pra?fat. atl Ducom et Senat. Venet. p. 43. Conf. Vergerio, 
Lettere al Moris. Delfino, Vescovo de Lesina ; apud De Porta, ii. 33. 

+ " Veneti in sua ditione persecutionem satis gravem Christo faciunt 
Bergomi, Brixia?, Verona?, Patavii. Omnia bona Ulixi comitis (nempe 
Martinengi) ad fiscum redacta sunt Brixia;. Comes Ulysses mihi 
tuas legit." (Aug. Maynardus ad Fabritium, 7 Mart. 1563: De 
Porta, ii. 459.) " Veneti, cseterique Italia? Principes sa-vam adver- 
sus pios persecutionem prosequuntur." (Ullysses Martinengus, Comes 
a Barcbo, ad Bullingerum, idib. Decembr. 1563 : Ibid. p. 486.) 

X Eusebius Captivus, per Hieronymum Marium, p. 249, Basil. 
1553. Curionis Pasquillus Ecstaticus, p. 3t. 



ants in Venice; and yet we learn that they had se- 
cret meetings for worship in the seventeenth cen- 
tury, distinct from those which the ambassadors of 
protestant states were permitted to hold.* 

Everywhere throughout Italy, during the period 
under consideration, those suspected of favouring 
the new opinions were sought out with equal keen- 
ness, and treated with at least equal cruelty, as in 
the Venetian territories. An account of the barba- 
rous measures adopted for extirpating the protest- 
ant doctrine in the Milanese will be given when we 
come to speak of the affairs of the Italian exiles 
who settled in the Grisons, with which the former 
are closely and almost inseparably connected. As 
the archives of the inquisition are locked up, we 
are left in general to judge of its proceedings in 
the interior states, whose political or commercial 
relations with protestant countries were slender, 
from collateral circumstances and incidental notices. 
From the number of those who escaped we may 
form some idea of the far greater numbers who 
must have been caught in the fangs of that vigi- 
lant and insatiable tribunal ; and there was not a 
city of any note in Italy from which there were not 
refugees in some part of protestant Europe. The 
execution done by the inquisition at Cremona may 
be conjectured from the notice bestowed on it by 

* Jacobi Gryna?i Epistola ad Hippolytuin a Collibus 1609 scripta; 
in Monument. Pietatis, torn. ii. p. 157. Franc, ad Mcen. 1701. 
Conf. Gerdes. Ital. Ref. p. 93. 


the popish historians, who often refer with peculiar 
satisfaction to the superior strictness of its regula- 
tions and celerity of its movements.* A single fact 
is sufficient, in the absence of other evidence, to 
prove the unrelenting severity practised in the 
duchy of Mantua. A person allied to the duke 
being seized by the inquisition on suspicion of he- 
resy, his highness begged the chief inquisitor to 
set him at liberty. This request was refused by 
the haughty monk, who replied that he acknow- 
ledged the duke as his lord, but that the pope, for 
whom he acted in this cause, possessed a power 
paramount to that of any temporal prince. Some 
days after the duke sent a second message, press- 
ing his former request, when the inquisitor repeat- 
ed his refusal, and showing the keys of the prison, 
told the messengers that if they chose to release the 
prisoner by force, they would do it at their peril, f 
We have an equally striking and more horrid 
proof of the fury with which persecution raged at 
Faenza. A nobleman, revered for his high birth 
and distinguished virtues, fell under the suspicion 
of the inquisitors of that city as a Lutheran. Af- 
ter being long detained in a foul prison, he was put 
to the torture. Not being able to extort from him 
what they wished, the inquisitors ordered the infer- 
nal operation to be repeated, and their victim ex- 
pired among their hands. The report of this bar- 

* Limborch's History of the Inquisition, part ii. passim, 
f Eglinus ad Bullingerum, 2 Mart. 1568: De Porta, ii. 486. 


barous deed spreading through the city created a 
tumult, in which the house of the inquisition was 
attacked, its altars and images torn down, and some 
of the priests trodden to death by the incensed mul- 
titude.* The persecution was also severe in the 
duchy of Parma ; the duke having entered into a 
treaty with that violent pontiff, Paul IV., by which 
he delivered up the properties and lives of his in- 
nocent subjects to the mercy of the inquisition. f 

The flourishing church at Locarno was a great 
eye-sore to the popes, distant as it was from Rome. 
In the measures taken for its suppression it was 
necessary to proceed with much caution ; as it in- 
cluded persons of wealth and high respectability, 
and as the sovereignty of the place belonged to the 
Swiss cantons, some of which were protestant, and 
all of them jealous of their authority. From the 
year 1549, when the disputation, formerly mention- 
ed, | took place between a priest of Lugano and the 
chief Locarnese protestants, every means was taken 
to excite odium against the latter in the minds of 
their fellow-citizens, and to involve them in quar- 
rels with the inhabitants of the neighbouring dis- 
tricts and with the government of Milan. Beccaria, 
their most zealous advocate, though dismissed from 
prison, was exposed to such personal danger, that he 
deemed it prudent, by the advice of his friends, to 

* Id. ad eund. 29 Mart. 1568 : De Porta, p. 487-8. 
f Fridericus Saliceus ad Bullingerum, 10 Jan. 1558 : Ibid. torn. ii. 
p. 295. 

$ See before, p. 133. 


banish himself, and retire to Chiavenna.* Next to 
him the individual most obnoxious, from his talents 
and activity, was Taddeo a Dunis. His fame as a 
physician having made his advice to be sought for 
throughout the adjacent country, he found it ne- 
cessary to remove to a more centrical place with- 
in the Milanese. No sooner was it known that he 
was without the protection of the Swiss confederacy 
than his old antagonist, the priest of Lugano, in- 
formed against him as a ringleader of the heretics, to 
the inquisitor at Milan, who sent a party to inter- 
cept and seize him on one of his professional jour- 
neys. Being warned of his danger, he secured him- 
self by retreating hastily to the mountains. Trust- 
ing, however, to his innocence, or to the powerful 
interest of the families which he attended, he after- 
wards appeared voluntarily before the inquisitor, 
and was so fortunate as to be dismissed, on condi- 
tion of his quitting the Milanese, and confining his 
medical aid for the future to his native district, f 

During four years the protestants at Locarno 
were subjected to every species of indignity short of 
open violence. They had for some time desisted 
from employing the priests to confess their sick, and 
from burying their dead, after the popish manner, 
with torches and the cross ; and they had their 
children baptized by ministers whom they brought 
for that purpose from Chiavenna, when they had 
no pastor of their own. The increase of the pro- 

* Muralti Oratio, in Tempe Helvetica, torn. iv. p. 165. 
t Ibid. p. 149. 


testants lessened in this way the gains of the mer- 
cenary priesthood, who endeavoured to move heaven 
and earth against the innovators, as at once sacrile- 
gious and unnatural. They circulated the base re- 
port that the protestants were guilty of the most 
licentious practices in their secret meetings ; and 
such calumnious rumours, while they met with easy 
credit from the ignorant and superstitious multi- 
tude, were encouraged by others who were too en- 
lightened not to know their falsehood. In the mean 
time a deep plot was laid by one Walther, a native 
of the popish canton of Uri, who was at that time 
town-clerk of Locarno, and some years after was 
banished for holding* a treasonable correspondence 
with the duke of Alva, governor of Milan. He 
forged a deed, purporting that the senators, citizens, 
and inhabitants of the town and bailiewic of Locar- 
no, bound themselves by oath, to the seven popish 
cantons, that they would adhere to the pope and 
the Roman religion, until the meeting of a general 
council. This paper, after being kept secret for 
several years, was sent, as a genuine deed, to an 
assembly of the seven cantons, held in March 1554, 
who, without making any inquiries, immediately 
passed a decree, that all the Locarnese should, 
agreeably to their bond, make confession to the 
priests during the ensuing Lent, that they should 
give their names to the superior of the church, and 
that the rites of sepulture should be denied to those 
who had not received mass on their death-bed.* 

* March 10, 1554, Muralti Oratio, pp. 150152. 



The promulgation of this decree at Locarno came on 
the protestants as a thunderbolt. They instantly- 
dispatched a commissioner to the protestant cantons, 
with instructions to represent the utter falsehood of 
the alleged bond on which the decree proceeded, and 
to intreat them, as their joint temporal superiors, 
and as professors of the same faith, to exert their 
influence to avert the ruin which threatened two 
hundred heads of families, who had never swerv- 
ed from their allegiance, and against whom no 
occasion or fault had been found, except concern- 
ing the law of their God. In consequence of this 
representation, the deputies of the protestant can- 
tons, having assembled at Arau, wrote to those of 
the popish persuasion, desiring them not to pro- 
ceed farther in the affair of Locarno until the 
meeting of the next diet of the confederacy, nor to 
take any step which would infringe the rights 
of the protestant cantons in that territory. To 
defeat this interposition, the enemies of the per- 
secuted Locarnese industriously circulated through 
Switzerland that they were not entitled to the pro- 
tection of the protestant cantons, inasmuch as they 
were infected with Servetianism, anabaptism, and 
other fanatical opinions. * Being informed of this 

* This report has misled a modern Swiss historian, who, speaking 
of Locarno, says : " Lelius et Faustus Socin avoient repandu dans 
cette contree une doctrine beaucoup plus libre encore que celle de 
Zwingli et de Calvin. Mais ils furent chasses, et leurs adhe'rens 
punis par l'exil ou par la mort. Apres eux, Beccaria devint a Locar- 
no," &c. (Histoire de la Nation Suisse, par Hen. Zschokke, trad, 
par Ch. Monnard, p. 207.) Faustus Socinus was only born in 
15S9 ; and there is not the least evidence that his uncle Lelius ever 
visited Locarno. 


by their commissioner, they transmitted to Zurich a 
confession of their faith, in which they avowed their 
agreement with the reformed churches concerning 
the Trinity, the incarnation and mediatory work 
of Christ, justification, and the sacraments ; which 
had the effect of silencing this unfounded calumny. 
Two general diets were held in the end of the year 
1554, for discussing this subject. The fictitious 
bond was unanimously set aside ; but when they 
came to the main point, the enemies of the reformed 
at Locarno insisted that it should be decided by the 
majority of votes in the diet, contrary to the rule 
usually observed in questions relating to religion. 
Ottaviano Riverda, bishop of Terracino, who had 
been sent as papal nuncio, stimulated the popish de- 
puties to violent measures, while those of the pro- 
testant cantons were influenced, partly by jealousy 
of one another, and partly by dread of interrupting 
the peace of the confederacy. The matter was refer- 
red at last to arbiters chosen from the two mixed can- 
tons, who gave it as their judgment, that the inhabit- 
ants of Locarno, who were free from crime, should 
either embrace the Roman catholic religion, or leave 
their native country, taking with them their families 
and property ; that they should not return thither, 
nor be permitted to settle in the territories of the 
seven catholic cantons; that those chargeable with 
reproaching the Virgin Mary, with anabaptism, or 
other opinions contrary to both confessions, should be 
punished; that this sentence should be intimated to 
the prefect of Locarno ; and that it should be carried 
into effect by deputies sent by the seven catholic can- 


tons, provided those of the four protestant ones refus- 
ed to take part in the affair, or absented themselves. 
Against this decision the deputies of Zurich protest- 
ed, declaring that, though they were resolved to 
abide by the league and not to excite any commo- 
tion, they could not agree to have this sentence in- 
timated in their name, and still less to take any 
share in carrying it into execution ; which protest 
was afterwards formally approved of by their consti- 
tuents. It was no small part of the indignity of- 
fered to the protestants by this decree, that Locarno 
was that year under the government of Isaiah 
Reuchlin, the prefect appointed by the canton of 
Zurich. This excellent man, who had already ex- 
perienced repeated vexations in the discharge of his 
office from the violence of the Roman Catholics, 
was thrown into great perplexity by the intelligence 
of what was concluded at the diet ; from which, 
however, he was relieved by instructions from home 
to regulate his conduct by the protest taken by the 
deputies of his native city. * 

So bent were the popish cantons on the execution 
of their edict, and so much were they afraid lest any 
thing might intervene to prevent it, that they ordered 
their deputies to cross the Alps in the depth of win- 
ter. On their arrival at Locarno the latter assembled 
the inhabitants, and in a threatening harangue told 
them, that, having by their rebellious and perverse 
innovations in religion disturbed the peace, and 
nearly broken the unity of the Helvetic body, they 

* Mural ti Oratio, pp. 152 160. 


might justly have been visited with exemplary pun- 
ishment, but that the diet, graciously overlooking 
their past faults, had ordained a law by which their 
future conduct should be imperiously regulated. 
The decree having been read, the municipal autho- 
rities immediately gave their consent to it by their 
subscriptions : the inhabitants, being divided in sen- 
timent, were allowed till next day to give in their 
answer. On the following morning such as were re- 
solved to adhere to the popish religion appeared before 
the deputies, and begging forgiveness for any thing in 
their past conduct which might have been offensive, 
promised an entire obedience and conformity to the 
laws for the future. In the afternoon, the protestants, 
in a regular order, two men, followed by their wives, 
walking abreast, the women carrying their infants 
in their arms and leading their little children, and 
those who were most respectable for their rank tak- 
ing the lead, proceeded to the council-room, where 
they were received by the deputies with marks of 
indecent levity, instead of that respect and sympathy 
to which their appearance and prospects entitled 
them. One of their number, addressing the depu- 
ties in the name of his brethren, said, That being 
heavily accused of embracing novelties and danger- 
ous opinions, they begged leave humbly to declare 
that they professed that faith which was prefigured 
under the Old Testament, and more clearly revealed 
by Christ and his apostles ; that after searching the 
scriptures, and comparing the Latin and Italian trans- 
lations, with prayer for divine illumination, they 


had embraced that doctrine which was summarily 
comprehended in the apostles creed, and rejected 
all human traditions contrary to the word of God ; 
that they disclaimed Novatianism and all novel opi- 
nions, and held in abhorrence every thing that fa- 
voured licentiousness of manners, as they had often 
protested to the seven popish and four protestant 
cantons ; that, committing themselves to Provi- 
dence, they were prepared to suffer any thing ra- 
ther than foment strife, or be the occasion of war 
in the confederation; that they had always preserved 
their allegiance to the confederate cantons inviolate, 
and were willing to spend their blood and treasure 
in their defence ; that they threw themselves on the 
generosity and mercy of the lords of the seven can- 
tons, and supplicated them, in the bowels of Jesus 
Christ, to take pity on such a multitude, including 
delicate females and helpless infants, who, if driven 
from their native country, must be reduced to the 
greatest distress; but that whatever resolution 
might be come to respecting this, they intreated 
that a rigorous investigation should be made into 
the crimes, affecting their honour and the credit of 
their religion, with which they had been charged ; 
and that, if found guilty, they should be punished, 
according to their demerit, with the utmost sever- 
ity. With hearts as rigid and haughty as the Alps 
which they had lately passed, the deputies replied to 
this touching and magnanimous appeal," We are not 
come here to listen to your faith. The lords of the 
seven cantons have, by the deed now made known to 


you, declared what their religion is, and they will 
not suffer it to be called in question or disputed.* 
Wherefore say, in one word, Are you ready to quit 
your faith, or are you not ?" To this the protest- 
ants with one voice replied, " We will live in it, we 
will die in it;" while the exclamations " we will never 
renounce it" " it is the only true faith" " it is the 
only holy faith" " it is the only saving faith," con- 
tinued for a considerable time to resound from dif- 
ferent parts of the assembly, like the murmurs 
which succeed the principal peal in a thunder storm. 
Before leaving the room they were required indi- 
vidually to give their names to the clerk, when two 
hundred persons immediately came forward with 
the greatest alacrity, and with mutual congratula- 

Perceiving that they could look for no favour 
from the deputies, who sternly refused them per- 
mission to remain till the rigour of winter was 
over, the protestants made preparations for their 
departure, and sent Taddeo a Dunis before them to 
request an asylum at Zurich from the magistrates of 
that city. But they had still to suffer greater trials. 
Riverda, the papal nuncio, following up his success 
in Switzerland, appeared at Locarno. Having ob- 
tained an audience of the deputies, and thanked them 
in the pope's name for the care they had testified for 
the catholic faith, he requested, first, that they should 

* " das wollen sie unarguieret unci ungedisputieret haben." 
f Muralti Oratio, pp. 160164. 


require the Grison League to deliver up the fugi- 
tive Beccaria, that he might be punished for the 
daring crime which he had committed in corrupting 
the faith of his countrymen ; and, secondly, that 
they would not permit the Locarnese emigrants to 
carry along with them their property and children ; 
but that the former should be forfeited, and the latter 
retained and brought up in the faith of the church of 
Rome. The deputies readily acceded to the first of 
these requests, but excused themselves from com- 
plying with the second, with which their instructions 
would not allow them to interfere. At the same time, 
they begged the nuncio to grant power to the priests 
of Locarno to receive such of the protestants as 
might be induced to return into the bosom of the 
church. This Riverda not only granted, but also 
offered his services, along with those of two Domi- 
nican doctors of theology, whom he had brought 
along with him, for convincing the deluded heretics. 
But though he harassed the protestants, by obliging 
them to listen to harangues delivered by the monks, 
and to wait on conferences with himself, he did not 
succeed in making a single convert. Having heard 
of three ladies of great respectability, Catarina Ro- 
salina, Lucia di Orello, and Barbara di Montalto, 
who were zealous protestants, the nuncio felt a 
strong inclination to enter the lists of controversy 
with them ; but they parried his attacks with so 
much dexterity, and exposed the idolatry and 
abuses of the Romish church with such boldness 
and severity, as at once to mortify and irritate his 


eminence. Barbara di Montalto, the wife of the 
first physician of the place, having incurred his 
greatest resentment, he prevailed on the depu- 
ties to issue an order to apprehend her for blas- 
phemies which she had uttered against the sacrifice 
of the mass. Her husband's house, which had been 
constructed as a place of defence during the violent 
feuds between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, was 
built on the Lake Maggiore, and had a concealed 
door, which it required the strength of six men to 
move, opening upon the water, where a boat was 
kept in waiting, to carry off the inmates upon any 
sudden alarm. This door he had caused his ser- 
vants to open at night, in consequence of an alarm- 
ing dream, which led him to apprehend danger, 
not to his wife indeed, but to himself. Early next 
morning the officers of justice entered the house, 
and bursting into the apartment where the lady 
was in the act of dressing herself, presented a war- 
rant from the deputies to convey her to prison. 
Rising up with great presence of mind, she begged 
them, with an air of feminine delicacy, to permit 
her to retire to an adjoining apartment, for the 
purpose of putting on some article of apparel. 
This being granted, she descended the stairs, and 
leaping into the boat, was rowed off in safety, before 
the eyes of her enemies, who were assembled in 
the court-room to receive her. Provoked at this 
disappointment, the nuncio and deputies wreaked 
their vengeance upon the husband of the lady, 
whom they stripped of his property. Not satisfied 


with this, they amerced in a large sum two mem- 
bers of the reformed church who had refused to 
have their children baptized after the popish forms. 
But the severest punishment fell on a poor trades- 
man, named Nicolas, who belonged to the reformed 
church. He had been informed against, some time 
before, for using, in a conversation with some of 
his neighbours, certain expressions derogatory to the 
Virgin Mary, who had a celebrated chapel in the vi- 
cinity, called Madonna del Sasso ; and the prefect 
Reuchlin, with the view of silencing the clamours of 
the priests, had punished his imprudence, by con- 
demning him to an imprisonment of sixteen weeks. 
This poor man was now brought a second time to 
trial for that offence, and, after being put to the tor- 
ture, had sentence of death passed upon him, which 
was unrelentingly executed by order of the depu- 
ties, notwithstanding the intercession of the Roman 
catholic citizens in his behalf. * 

The protest ants had fixed on the 3d of March, 
1555, for setting out on their journey ; and so bitter 
had their life been for some time, that, attached as 
they were to their native place, they looked forward 
to the day of their departure with joy. But before 
it arrived, they received intelligence which damped 
their spirits. The government of Milan, yielding 
to the instigations of the priesthood, published 
an edict, commanding all their subjects not to en- 
tertain the exiles from Locarno on their journey, 

* Muralti Oratio, pp. 157, 164170. 


nor allow them to remain above three days within 
the Milanese territory, under the pain of death ; and 
imposing a fine on those who should afford them 
any assistance, or enter into conversation with them, 
especially on any matter connected with religion. 
Being thus precluded from taking the road which 
led to the easiest passage across the Alps, they set 
out early on the morning of the day fixed, and after 
sailing to the northern point of the Lake Maggiore, 
passed the Helvetian bailliages, by the way of Bel- 
linzone, and before night came on, reached Rogoreto, 
a town subject to the Grison League. Here the 
Alps, covered with snow and ice, presented a bar- 
rier which it was vain attempting to pass, and 
obliged them to take up their winter quarters, 
amidst the inconveniences necessarily attending the 
residence of such a number of persons among stran- 
gers. After two months, the thaw having opened 
a passage for them, they proceeded to the Grisons, 
where they were welcomed by their brethren of the 
same faith. Being offered a permanent residence, 
with admission to the privileges of citizenship, near- 
ly the half of their number took up their abode in 
that country ; the remainder, amounting to a hun- 
dred and fourteen persons, went forward to Zurich, 
the inhabitants of which came out to meet them 
at their approach, and by the kind and fraternal 
reception which they gave them, consoled and re- 
vived the hearts of the sad and weary exiles. * 

* Muralti Oratio, pp. 171, 172. Sleidan, torn. iii. lib. xxvi. p. 506. 
Schelhoni makes the number of those who reached Zurich 133. (Er- 


Ill the mean time the city of Locarno rejoiced at the 
expulsion of the reformed, as if it had been the remov- 
al of a plague ; but this exultation was of short con- 
tinuance. The most industrious part of the commu- 
nity being expelled, the trade of the place began to 
languish. As if visibly to punish the cruelty with 
which they had acted towards their brethren, their 
lands were laid waste during the succeeding year 
by a tempest, while the pestilence raged with still 
more destructive violence among the inhabitants. 
To these calamities were added intestine animosi- 
ties and dissensions. The two powerful families of 
the Buchiachi and Rinaldi, who had been leagued 
against the protestants, now became competitors for 
the superiority of the neighbouring village of Bri- 
sago, vacant by the expulsion of the Orelli ; and in 
support of their claims, they raised bands of armed 
men, attacked each other, and committed depreda- 
tions on the peaceable inhabitants ; in consequence 
of which the Swiss government was obliged to main- 
tain a garrison at great expense in Locarno. * 

Hard as was the fate of the Locarnese protestants, 
it was mild, compared with that of their brethren in 
the interior of Italy, who had no friendly power to 
save them from the vengeance of Rome, and no asy- 
lum at hand to which they could repair when re- 
fused the protection of their own governments. To 
retire in a body was out of the question ; they were 

gotzlichkeiten aus der Kirchenhistorie und Literatur, torn. iii. p. 
1162.) A few persons attached to the reformed doctrine still remain- 
ed at Locarno. (De Porta, ii. 346.) 
* Muralti Oratio, p. 1 74-5. 


obliged to fly singly ; and when they ventured to 
return for the purpose of carrying away their fami- 
lies or recovering the wreck of their fortunes, they 
were often seized by the familiars of the inquisition 
and lodged in the same prisons with their brethren 
whom they had left behind them. While the pro- 
fession of the truth exposedpersons to such hardships 
and perils, we need not wonder that many were in- 
duced to recant, while still greater numbers, with 
the view of avoiding or allaying suspicion, gave ex- 
ternal countenance to a worship which they inward- 
ly detested as superstitious and idolatrous. This 
was the case at Lucca. Averse to quit their native 
country, and to relinquish their honours and posses- 
sions, trusting in their numbers and influence, and 
deceived by the connivance of the court of Rome at 
their private meetings for a course of years, the pro- 
testants in that republic became secure, and began 
to boast of their superior resolution in maintaining 
their ground, while many of their brethren had ti- 
midly deserted it, and suffered the banner of truth 
which had been displayed in different quarters of 
Italy to fall. But this pleasing dream was soon to 
be dissipated. Scarcely had Paul IV. mounted the 
papal throne when orders were issued for the sup- 
pression of the Lucchese conventicle ; according to 
a preconcerted plan, its principal members were in 
one day thrown into the dungeons of the inquisi- 
tion ; and at the sight of the instruments of tor- 
ture the stoutest of them lost their courage, and 
were fain to make their peace with Rome on the 



easiest terms which they could purchase. Peter Mar- 
tyr, whose apology for his flight they had with diffi- 
culty sustained, and whose example they had re- 
fused to follow when it was in their power, felt 
deeply afflicted at the dissipation of a church in 
which he took a tender interest, and at the sudden 
defection of so many persons in whose praises he 
had often been so warm. In a letter which he ad- 
dressed to them on the occasion, he says, " How 
can I refrain from lamentations, when I think 
that such a pleasant garden as the reformed 
church at Lucca presented to the view, has been 
so laid waste by the cruel tempest as scarcely to 
retain a vestige of its former cultivation. Those 
who did not know you might entertain fears that 
you would not be able to resist the storm ; it never 
could have entered into my mind that you would 
fall so foully. After the knowledge you had of the 
fury of antichrist, and the danger which hung 
over your heads, when you did not choose to retire, 
by availing yourselves of what some call the com- 
mon remedy of the weak, but which, in certain 
circumstances, I deem a prudent precaution, those 
who had a good opinion of you said, ' These tried 
and brave soldiers of Christ will not fly, because 
they are determined, by their martyrdom and blood, 
to open a way for the progress of the gospel in 
their native country, emulating the noble examples 
which are given every day by their brethren in 
France, Belgium, and England.' Ah, how much 
have these hopes been disappointed ! What mat- 


ter of boasting lias been given to our antichristiau 
oppressors ! But this confounding catastrophe is 
to be deplored with tears rather than words. "* 
The seeds of the reformed doctrine were not how- 
ever extirpated in Lucca. We find the popish 
writers complaining that, in the year 1562, the 
heretics in that city kept up a correspondence with 
their brethren in foreign countries, by means of 
merchants, who imported protestant books from 
Lyons and Geneva.f 

At Naples, the protestants enjoyed a reprieve 
from persecution, during the dissensions excited by 
the renewed attempts to introduce the Spanish in- 
quisition.^; But the people were satisfied with the 
abandonment of this measure by the Neapolitan 
government, which, in its turn, not only forgave the 
pope for fomenting the late opposition to its mea- 
sures, but entered into a treaty with him, in which 
it was agreed to take common measures for rooting 
out the new opinions. In consequence of this, a 
rigorous search after heretics commenced in the 
capital, which was afterwards extended to other 
parts of the kingdom. Many were thrown into pri- 
son, and not a few sent to Rome to be subjected to 
the fiery ordeal. Two things conspired with this 
violence to ruin the reformed cause in Naples. 
The first was, the coming of certain adherents of 
anabaptism and arianism, who got introduced to 

* Martyris Loc. Cora. p. 771-2. 
t Raynaldi Annates, ad an. 1562. 

X See before, p. 203. Goncalo de lllescas, Historia Pontifical y Ca- 
tholica, Parte ii. pp. 313 315. 


the secret meetings of the protestants, and made 
disciples to their peculiar tenets.* The second was, 
the practice which some of them indulged, of at- 
tending the popish worship, partaking of mass, and 
conducting themselves in public in every respect as 
if they had been papists. These have been called 
Valdesians by some writers, because they justified 
themselves by appealing to the example of Valdez, 
and to the advice which he gave those whom 
he had instructed in the doctrine of justification, 
but whose minds were yet trammelled by preju- 
dices in favour of the church of Rome and the 
ancient rites. This practice, which became daily 
more general as the persecution increased, not only 
offended those conscientious individuals who shun- 
ned the popish worship as idolatrous, but it gradu- 
ally wore off from the minds of the conformists the 
impressions of that faith which they had embraced, 
and prepared them for sacrificing it on the slight- 
est temptation. Notwithstanding all their caution, 
not a few of them were seized as suspected per- 
sons, and purchased their lives by recanting those 
truths which they had professed to hold in the 
highest estimation. But this was not all : having 
once incurred the jealousy of the inquisitors, and 
exposed themselves to the malice or avarice of in- 
formers, some of them were seized a second time, 
and subjected to tortures and a cruel death, as re- 
lapsed heretics. f Afraid of incurring the same 

* Life of the Marquis of Vico, chap. vii. p. 13. Lond. 1635. 
t Ibid. p. 14, 


punishment, or actuated by a desire to enjoy the 
pure worship of God, a considerable number of 
protestants agreed to quit Italy, ; but when they 
came to the Alps, and stopped to take a last view 
of their beloved country, the greater part, struck 
with its beauties, and calling to mind the friends 
and the comforts which they had left behind, aban- 
doned their purpose, parted with their companions, 
and returned to Naples ; where they had scarcely 
arrived, when they were thrown into prison, and 
having submitted to penance, spent the remainder 
of their lives distrusted bv those around them, and 
preyed upon by remorse and a consciousness of 
self-degradation . * 

When the reformed opinions had been sup- 
pressed in the capital, the Neapolitan government 
permitted the inquisitors to roam through the 
country like wild beasts let loose, and to devour its 
innocent subjects. Of all the barbarities of which 
Rome was guilty at this period, none was more 
horrible than those which were inflicted on the 
descendants of the ancient Waldenses. It would 
seem as if she wished to exceed the cruelties com- 
mitted during the dark ages, in the crusades which 
Simon de Montfort, of bloody memory, had con- 
ducted against the ancestors of that people, under 
the consecrated banners of the church. 

The Waldensian colony in Calabria Citerioref 
had increased in the sixteenth century to four thou- 

* Life of the Marquis of Vico, chap. x. p. 21. 
f See before, p. 1. 



sand persons, who possessed two towns, Santo Xisto, 
belon ging to the dnke of Montalto, and La Gnardia, 
situate on the seacoast. Cut off from intercourse 
with their brethren of the same faith, and destitute 
of the means of education for their pastors, this 
simple people, at the same time that they observed 
their own forms of worship, had gradually become 
habituated to attend on mass, without which they 
found it difficult to maintain a friendly intercourse 
with the original inhabitants of the place. Their 
curiosity was awakened by hearing that a doctrine 
bearing a strong affinity to that of their fathers 
was propagated in Italy ; they eagerly sought to 
become acquainted with it, and being convinced 
that they had erred hitherto in countenancing the 
popish worship, they applied to their brethren in 
the valleys of Pragela, and to the ministers of 
Geneva, to obtain teachers who should instruct them 
more perfectly, and organize their churches after 
the scripture pattern.* 

No sooner was this known at Rome than the 
sacred college sent two monks, Valerio Malvicino 
and Alfonso Urbino, into Calabria, to suppress the 
churches of the Waldenses, and reduce them to the 
obedience of the Holy See. On their first arrival, 
the monks assumed an air of great gentleness. Hav- 
ing assembled the inhabitants of Santo Xisto, they 
told them, that they had not come with the view of 
hurting any person, but merely to warn them in a 
friendly manner to desist from hearing any teachers 

* Zanchii Epistolsc, lib. ii. p. .';60. 


but those appointed by their ordinary ; that if they 
would dismiss those who had led them astray, and live 
for the future according to the rules of the Roman 
church, they had nothing to fear ; but that, if they 
acted otherwise, they would expose themselves to 
the danger of losing their lives and property, by in- 
curring the punishment of heretics. They then ap- 
pointed a time for celebration of mass, which they 
required all present to attend. But instead of com- 
plying with this injunction, the inhabitants, in a 
body, quitted the town, and retired to the woods, 
leaving behind them only a few aged persons and 
children. Concealing their chagrin, the monks im- 
mediately went to La Guardia, and having caused 
the gates to be shut, and assembled the inhabitants, 
told them that their brethren of Santo Xisto had re- 
nounced their erroneous opinions, and gone to mass, 
exhorting them to imitate so dutiful and wise an 
example. The poor simple people, crediting the re- 
port of the monks, and alarmed at the danger which 
they held out, complied ; but no sooner did they 
ascertain the truth, than overwhelmed with shame 
and vexation, they resolved instantly to leave the 
place with their wives and children, and to join 
their brethren who had taken refuge in the woods ; 
a resolution from which they were with difficulty 
diverted by the representations and promises of 
Salvatore Spinello, the feudatory superior of the 
town. In the mean time the monks procured two 
companies of foot soldiers to be sent into the woods, 
who hunted the inhabitants of Santo Xisto like 


beasts of prey, and having discovered their lurking- 
place, fell on them with cries of Ammasss&i, ammaxxi, 
" Murder them, murder them." A part of the fugi- 
tives took refuge on a mountain, and having secured 
themselves on the rocks, demanded a parley with the 
captain. After intreating him to take pity on them, 
their wives and children, they said, that they and their 
fathers had inhabited that country for several ages, 
without having given any person cause to complain 
of their conduct ; that if they could not be allowed to 
remain in it any longer, without renouncing their 
faith, they hoped they would be permitted to retire 
to some other country ; that they would go, by sea 
or land, to any place which their superiors were 
pleased to appoint ; that they would engage not to 
return ; and that they would take no more along 
with them than what was necessary for their sup- 
port on the journey, for they were ready to part 
with their property rather than do violence to their 
consciences by practising idolatry. They implored 
him to withdraw his men, and not oblige them re- 
luctantly to defend themselves, as they could not 
answer for the consequences, if reduced to despair. 
Instead of listening to this reasonable offer, and re- 
porting it to his superiors, the captain ordered his 
men to advance by a defile, upon which those on 
the hill attacked them, killed the greater part, and 
put the rest to flight.* 

* Pcrrin, I list, des Vaudois, part. i. pp. 199202. Perrin relates 
this under the year 15G0, and speaks of it as having taken place after 


It was immediately resolved to avenge on the whole 
body this unpremeditated act of resistance on the part 
of a few. The monks wrote to Naples that the coun- 
try was in a state of rebellion, upon which the vice- 
roy dispatched several companies of soldiers to Ca- 
labria, and, to gratify the pope, followed them in 
person. On his arrival, listening to the advice of 
the inquisitors, he caused a proclamation to be made 
delivering up Santo Xisto to fire and sword, which 
obliged the inhabitants to remain in their conceal- 
ments. By another proclamation, he offered a par- 
don to the bannitti, or persons proscribed for crimes, 
(who are a numerous class in Naples,) on the con- 
dition of their assisting in the war against the here- 
tics. This brought a number of desperate characters 
to his standard, who, being acquainted with the re- 
cesses of the woods, tracked out the fugitives, the 
greater part of whom were slaughtered by the sol- 
diers, while the remainder took refuge in the ca- 
verns of the high rocks, where many of them died 
of hunger. Pretending to be displeased with the 
severity of military execution, the inquisitors re- 
tired to some distance from the place, and cited the 
inhabitants of La Guardia to appear before them. 
Encouraged by the reports which they had heard, the 
people complied ; but they had no sooner made their 

Louis Paschal came to Calabria. But I suspect he has placed it too 
late. At least the author of Busdragi Epistola, which is dated lath 
December, 1558, speaking of the progress of the reformed doctrine in 
Italy, says: ' f Nam quotidie aliquid novi sentitur, nunc in hac civi- 
tate, nunc in ilia. Calabria nuper fere tota tumultiiata est." (Serin, 
Antiq. torn. i. p. 392.) 


appearance, than seventy of them were seized and con- 
ducted in chains to Montalto. They were put to the 
question by the orders of the inquisitor Panza, to in- 
duce them not only to renounce their faith, but also to 
accuse themselves and their brethren of having com- 
mitted odious crimes in their religious assemblies. 
To wring a confession of this from him, Stefano Car- 
lino was tortured until his bowels gushed out. Ano- 
ther prisoner, named Verminel, having, in the extre- 
mity of pain, promised to go to mass, the inquisitor 
flattered himself that, by increasing the violence of 
the torture, he could extort a confession of the 
charge which he was so anxious to fasten on the pro- 
testants. But though the exhausted sufferer was 
kept during eight hours on the instrument called the 
hel/y he persisted in denying the atrocious calumny. 
A person of the name of Marzone was stripped naked, 
beaten with iron rods, dragged through the streets, 
and then felled with the blows of torches. One of 
his sons, a boy, having resisted the attempts made 
for his conversion, was conveyed to the top of a 
tower, from which they threatened to j>recipitate 
him, if he would not embrace a crucifix, which was 
presented to him. He refused ; and the inquisitor, 
in a rage, ordered him instantly to be thrown down. 
Bernardino Conte, on his way to the stake, threw 
away a crucifix which the executioner had forced 
into his hands ; upon which Panza remanded him to 
prison, until a more dreadful mode of punishment 
should be devised. He was conveyed to Cosenza, 
where his body was covered with pitch, in which he 


was burnt to death before the people.* The manner 
in which those of the tender sex were treated by this 
brutal inquisitor, is too disgusting to be related here. 
Suffice it to say, that he put sixty females to the 
torture, the greater part of whom died in prison in 
consequence of their wounds remaining undressed. 
On his return to Naples, he delivered a great num- 
ber of protestants to the secular arm at St. Agata, 
where he inspired the inhabitants with the greatest 
terror ; for, if any individual came forward to in- 
tercede for the prisoners, he was immediately put 
to the torture as a favourer of heresy. t 

Horrid as these facts are, they fall short of the 
barbarity perpetrated on the same people at Mon- 
talto in the year 1560, under the government of the 
Marquis di Buccianici, to whose brother, it is said, 
the pope had promised a cardinal's hat, provided the 
province of Calabria was cleared of heresy. I shall 
give the account in the words of a Roman catholic, 
servant to Ascanio Caraccioli, who witnessed the 
scene. The letter in which he describes it was pub- 
lished in Italy, along with other narratives of the 
bloody transaction. " Most illustrious Sir, Having 
written you from time to time what has been done 
here in the affair of heresy, I have now to inform you 
of the dreadful justice which began to be executed on 
these Lutherans early this morning, being the 11th 
of June. And, to tell you the truth, I can compare 

* Perrin, ut supra, pp. 202 201. t Ibid. p. 205-6. 


it to nothing but the slaughter of so many sheep. 
They were all shut up in one house as in a sheep- 
fokl. The executioner went, and bringing out one 
of them, covered his face with a napkin, or benda, 
as we call it, led him out to a field near the house, 
and causing him to kneel down, cut his throat with 
a knife. Then taking off the bloody napkin, 
he went and brought out another, whom he put 
to death after the same manner. In this way, the 
whole number, amounting to eighty-eight men, 
were butchered. I leave you to figure to yourself 
the lamentable spectacle ; for I can scarcely refrain 
from tears while I write ; nor was there any per- 
son who, after witnessing the execution of one, 
could stand to look on a second. The meekness 
and patience with which they went to martyrdom 
and death was incredible. Some of them at their 
death professed themselves of the same faith with 
us, but the greater part died in their cursed obsti- 
nacy. All the old men met their death with cheer- 
fulness, but the young exhibited symptoms of fear. 
I shudder while I think of the executioner with the 
bloody knife in his teeth, the dripping napkin in 
his hand, and his arms besmeared with gore, going 
to the house and taking out one after another, just 
as a butcher does the sheep which he means to kill. 
According to orders waggons are already come to 
carry away the dead bodies, which are appointed 
to be quartered, and hung up on the public roads 
from one end of Calabria to the other. Unless his 
holiness and the viceroy of Naples command the 


marquis de Buccianici, the governor of this province, 
to stay his hand and leave off, he will go on to put 
others to the torture, and multiply the executions 
until he has destroyed the whole. Even to-day a 
decree has passed that a hundred grown up women 
shall be put to the question, and afterwards ex- 
ecuted ; so that there may be a complete mixture, 
and we may be able to say, in well-sounding lan- 
guage, that so many persons were punished, partly 
men and partly women. This is all that I have to 
say of this act of justice. It is now eight o'clock, 
and I shall presently hear accounts of what was said 
by these obstinate people as they were led to ex- 
ecution. Some have testified such obstinacy and 
stubbornness as to refuse to look on a crucifix, or 
confess to a priest ; and they are to be burnt alive. 
The heretics taken in Calabria amount to sixteen 
hundred, all of whom are condemned ; but only 
eighty-eight have as yet been put to death. This 
people came originally from the valley of Angro- 
gna, near Savoy, and in Calabria are called Ultra- 
montani. Four other places in the kingdom of 
Naples are inhabited by the same race, but I do not 
know that they behave ill ; for they are a simple 
unlettered people, entirely occupied with the spade 
and plough, and, I am told, show themselves suffi- 
ciently religious at the hour of death."* Lest the 
reader should be inclined to doubt the truth of such 

* Pantaleon, Rerum in Ecdes. Gest. Hist, f. 337-8. Dc Porta, ii. 


horrid atrocities, the following summary account of 
them, by a Neapolitan historian of that age, may be 
added. After giving some account of the Calabrian 
heretics, he says : " Some had their throats cut, others 
were sawn through the middle, and others thrown 
from the top of a high cliff : all were cruelly but de- 
servedly put to death. It was strange to hear of 
their obstinacy ; for while the father saw his son put 
to death, and the son his father, they not only gave 
no symptoms of grief, but said joyfully, that they 
would be angels of God : so much had the devil, to 
whom they had given themselves up as a prey, de- 
ceived them."* 

By the time that the persecutors were glutted 
with blood, it was not difficult to dispose of the 
prisoners who remained. The men were sent to the 
Spanish galleys ; the women and children were sold 
for slaves ; and, with the exception of a few who 
renounced their faith, the whole colony was exter- 
minated.! " Many a time have they afflicted me 
from my youth," may the race of the Waldenses say, 
" many a time have they afflicted me from my 
youth. My blood, the violence done to me and to 
my flesh, be upon" Rome ! 

While the popes exerted themselves in the sup- 
pression of the reformed doctrines in other parts of 
Italy, it may be taken for granted that they were 

* Tommaso Costo, Seconda Parte del Compendio dell 'Istoria di 
Napoli, p. 257. 

f Pcrrin, ut supra, p. 206-7. Hist, des Martyrs, f. ol6, a. 


not idle within the territories of the church. It 
has been observed, that the procedure of the in- 
quisition was milder in Italy than in Spain ; but 
both the statement of the fact, and the reasons by 
which it is usually accounted for, require to be 
qualified. One of these reasons is, the policy with 
which the Italians, including the popes, have al- 
ways consulted their pecuniary interests, to which 
they postponed every other consideration. This 
however will be found to hold true as to their treat- 
ment of the Jews, rather than of the Lutherans. 
The second reason is, that the popes being tempo- 
ral princes in the states of the church, had no oc- 
casion to employ the inquisition to undermine the 
rights of the secular authorities in them, as in other 
countries. This is unquestionably true ; and it 
accounts for the fact that the court of inquisition, 
long after its operations had been suspended in Italy, 
continued to be warmly supported by papal in- 
fluence in Spain. But at the time of which I 
write, and during the remainder of the sixteenth 
century, it was in full and constant operation, and 
the popes found that it enabled them to accomplish 
what would have baffled their power as secular so- 
vereigns. The chief difference between the Italian 
and Spanish inquisitions at that period, appears to 
have lain in their policy respecting the mode of 
punishment. The latter sought to inspire terror 
by the solemn spectacle of a public act of justice in 
which the scaffold was crowded with criminals. 


Except in the case of the remote and friendless Ca- 
labrians, it was the object of the former to avoid 
all unnecessary publicity and eclat. With this view, 
the mode of punishment usual at Venice was some- 
times adopted at Rome ; as in the case of Barto- 
lommeo Fonzio. * In other cases the victims were 
brought to the stake singly or in small numbers, 
and often strangled before being committed to the 
flames. The report of the aidos da fe of Seville 
and Valladolid blazed at once over Europe : the 
executions at Rome made less noise in the city, be- 
cause they were less splendid as well as more fre- 
quent ; and the rumour of them died away before 
it could reach the ear of foreigners. 

Paul III. threw many of the protestants into 
the prisons of Rome ; they were brought forth 
to execution by Julius III. ; and Paul IV. follow- 
ed in the bloody track of his predecessor. Under 
the latter the inquisition spread alarm everywhere, 

* De Porta, ii. 33. Heidegger states that Fonzio was drowned 
along with thirteen preachers of the gospel. (Diss, de Miraculis 
Eccles. Evang. 45.) I conjecture that this writer was misled by 
a cursory inspection of a letter, (then probably unprinted,) from 
Frechtus to Bullinger, dated July 24, 1538, which says : " Bar- 
tholomaeum Fontium Venetum, publica fide sibi a Romano Ponti- 
fice data, Romam pervenisse et fidei sua? rationem dedisse, ac sta- 
tim ab Antichristo sacco impositum et Tiberi immersum, in Domi- 
num mortuum, in hujus locum XIII. emersisse evangelicos pra?di- 
catores, qui Roma?, invito etiam Antichristo, Christum annuncient." 
(Fueslin, Epist. Reform. Helvet. p. 177.) It is rather a serious mis- 
take to confound emergo with i miner go. 


and created the very evils which it sought to allay. 
Princes and princesses, priests, friars and bishops, 
entire academies, the sacred college, and even the 
holy office itself, fell under the suspicion of heretical 
pravity. The conclave was subjected to an expur- 
gatory process. Cardinals Morone and Pole, with 
Foscarari, bishop of Modena, Aloysio Priuli, and 
other persons of eminence, were prosecuted as heri- 
tics. It was at last found necessary to introduce 
laymen into the inquisition, " because," to use the 
words of a contemporary writer, " not only many 
bishops, and vicars, and friars, but also many of 
the inquisitors themselves, were tainted with here- 
sy." * Much of the extravagance displayed at 
this time, is, no doubt, to be ascribed to the person- 
al fanaticism and jealousy of the pontiff, who sent 
for some of the cardinals to his death-bed, and re- 
commended the inquisition to their support with 
his latest breath. Such was the frenzied zeal of 
this infallible dotard, that, if his life had been 
spared a little longer, the poet's description of the 
effects of superstition would have been realized, 
" and one capricious curse enveloped all." Ir- 
ritated by his violent proceedings, and by the 
extortion and rapine with which they were ac- 
companied, the inhabitants of Rome, as soon as 
the tidings of his death transpired, rose in tumult, 
burnt the house of inquisition to the ground, 

* Bernini, Istoria di tutte L'Heresia, secol. xvi. cap. vii. : Pui 
blanch's History of the Inquisition, i. 61-2. 



after having liberated all the prisoners,* broke down 
the statue which Paul had erected for himself, and 
dragging its members with ropes through the streets, 
threw them into the Tiber.f 

Pius IV. overturned several of the measures pur- 
sued by his predecessor ; but this proceeded more 
from hatred to the house of Caraffa than from mo- 
deration or the love of justice. His pontificate, in 
fact, exceeded that of Paul IV. in cruelty, being 
disgraced by the massacres in Calabria, and nume- 
rous executions in Rome, Venice, and other parts 
of Italy. In the room of that which had been de- 
molished in the tumult, he appropriated to the in- 
quisition a house beyond the Tiber, which had be- 
longed to one of the cardinals ; and added cells to 
it for the reception of prisoners. This was com- 
monly called the Lutheran prison, and is said to 
have been built on the site of the ancient Circus of 
Nero, in which so many Christians were delivered 
to the wild beasts. Here it was that Philip Came- 
rarius, the son of Joachim Camerarius, and Peter 
Rieter de Kornburg, a Bavarian gentleman, were 
confined for two months during the year 1565 ; 
having been seized when visiting Rome on their 
travels, in consequence of the information of a Jew, 
who mistook Rieter for another German, with 
whom he had quarrelled. But although the mis- 

* Among these prisoners was John Craig, one of our Reformers, 
who drew up the National Covenant, in which Scotland abjured the 
popish religion. (Life of John Knox, iL 55.) 

t Natalis Comes, Hist, sui Temporis, lib. xii. f. 233, 209. 


take was acknowledged by the informer, they were 
detained as heretics, and obtained their liberty only 
through the interference of the imperial ambassa- 
dor, accompanied with threats that the agents of 
Rome would be treated in the same manner in 
travelling through Germany.* Pompeio di Monti, 
a Neapolitan nobleman, who had been seized by the 
familiars of the inquisition, as he was crossing the 
bridge of St. Angelo on horseback, along with his 
relation, Marcantonio Colonna, was lodged in the 
same apartment with Camerarius, who derived from 
his conversation both Christian comfort and useful 
counsel to avoid the snares which the inquisitors 
were in the habit of spreading for their prisoners. f 
During the subsequent year Di Monti was sentenced 
to be burnt alive ; but, in consideration of a sum of 
seven thousand crowns being advanced by his friends, 
he was only strangled, and his body afterwards 
committed to the flames. t 

* Schelhorn, Vita Philippi Camerarii, pp. 86 101. Relatio de Cap- 
tivitate Romana, ike. Philippi Camerarii et Petri Rieteri, pp. 7 30, 
54 64. This last work was published by Camerarius himself, and 
contains a particular account of the examinations which he under- 
went, and the causes of his release, accompanied with documents. 

f Relatio, ut supra, p. 73-4. They shared together the use of a 
Latin Bible, which the baron had procured and kept concealed in his 
bed. Camerarius having applied for a Psalter, to assist him in his 
devotions, the noted Jesuit, Petrus Canislus, by whom he was visited, 
pressed on him the Office of the Holy Virgin, as more conducive to 
edification; and, when it was declined, sent him Amadis de Gaul, 
and Ca?sar's Commentaries, in Italian. (Ibid. pp. 14, 15.) 

J Relatio, ut supra, pp. 7, 8. 


Nor did the persecution slacken under Pius V. who 
was created pope in the year 1566. The name of this 
fierce and inexorable pontiff was Michele Ghisleri ; 
and the cruelties committed during the two preceding 
pontificates are in no small degree to be ascribed to 
his influence, as president of the inquisition, a situ- 
ation which he had held, under the designation of 
the Alexandrine cardinal, since the late establish- 
ment of that tribunal.* His elevation to the pope- 
dom was followed by a hot persecution in Rome and 
the states of the church. It raged with great vio- 
lence in Bologna, where " persons of all ranks were 
promiscuously subjected to the same imprisonment, 
and tortures and death."f " Three persons," says a 
writer of that time, " have lately been burnt alive 
in that city, and two brothers of the* noble family 
of Ercolani have been seized on suspicion of heresy, 
and sent bound to Rome." At the same time many 
of the German students in the university were 
imprisoned, or obliged to fly4 The following de- 
scription of the state of matters in the year 1568 is 
from the pen of one who was residing at that time 
on the borders of Italy. " At Rome some are every 
day burnt, hanged, or beheaded ; all the prisons 
and places of confinement are filled ; and they are 
obliged to build new ones. That large city cannot 
furnish gaols for the numbers of pious persons who 

* Thuani Hist. lib. xxxix. ad an. 1566. Vita Philippi Camerarii, 
p. 102. 

f Thobias Eglinus ad Bullingerum, 29 Decern. 1567: De Porta, 
ii. 460. 

X Epistola Joachimi Camerarii, 16 Feb. 1.566; et Epist. Petri 
Rietcri, prid. Id. Mail 1.567 : Vita Phil. Camerarii, pp. 174, 197. 


are continually apprehended. A distinguished per- 
son, named Carnesecchi, formerly ambassador to the 
duke of Tuscany, has been committed to the flames. 
Two persons of still greater distinction, baron Ber- 
nardo di Angole, and count a Petiliano, a genuine 
and brave Roman, are in prison. After long re- 
sistance, they were at last induced to recant on a 
promise that they should be set at liberty. But 
what was the consequence ? The one was condemn- 
ed to pay a fine of eighty thousand crowns, and to 
suffer perpetual imprisonment ; and the other to 
pay one thousand crowns, and be confined for life 
in the convent of the Jesuits. Thus have they, by 
a dishonourable defection, purchased a life worse 
than death."* The same writer relates the follow- 
ing anecdote, which shows the base stratagems which 
the Roman inquisition employed to get hold of its vic- 
tims. " A letter from Genoa to Messere Bonetti states, 
that a rich nobleman at Modena in the duchy of Fer- 
rara was lately informed against as a heretic to the 
pope, who had recourse to the following method of 
getting him into his claws. The nobleman had a 
cousin at Rome, who was sent for to the castle of 
St. Angelo, and told, Either you must die, or write 
to your cousin at Modena, desiring him to meet 
you in Bologna at a certain hour, as you wish to 
speak to him on important business.' The letter 

* Thobias Eglinus ad Bullingerum, 2 Mart. 1568: De Porta, ii. 



was dispatched, and the nobleman having ridden in 
haste to Bologna, was seized as soon as he had dis- 
mounted from his horse. His friend was then set at 
liberty. This is dragon's game."* 

It is not my intention to write a martyrology ; 
but I cannot altogether pass over the names of those 
men who intrepidly displayed the standard of truth 
before the walls of Rome, and fell within the breach 
of the antichristian citadel. 

Faventino Fanino, or Fannio, a native of Faenza, 
within the states of the church, is usually, though not 
correctly, said to be the first who suffered martyrdom 
for the protestant faith in Italy. Having received 
the knowledge of the truth by reading the Bible 
and other religious books in his native language, he 
imparted it to his neighbours, and was soon thrown 
into prison. Through the persuasion of his friends 
he purchased his liberty by recantation, which threw 
him into great distress of mind. On recovering 
from this dejection, he resolved to exert himself 
more zealously than before in discovering to his 
countrymen the errors by which they were deluded, 
and in acquainting them with the way of salvation. 
For this purpose, he travelled through the province 
of Romagna. His plan was, after succeeding with 
a few individuals, to leave them to instruct others, 
while he removed to another place ; by which means 
he disseminated extensively, in a short time, the 

* Thobias Eglinus acl Bullingerum, 20 Mart. 1 568: ibid. p. 4.87. 


knowledge of evangelical doctrine. He was at last 
seized at a place called Bagnacavallo, and conducted 
in chains to Ferrara. Neither threats nor solicita- 
tions could now move him to waver in his confes- 
sion of the truth. To the lamentations of his wife 
and sister, who came to see him in prison, he replied, 
" Let it suffice you, that, for your sakes, I once denied 
my Saviour. Had I then had the knowledge which 
by the grace of God I have acquired since my fall, I 
would not have yielded to your entreaties. Go home 
in peace." Of Fannio's imprisonment, which last- 
ed two years, it may be said, that it fell out " to the 
furtherance of the gospel, so that his bonds in Christ 
were manifest in all the palace." He was visited by 
the princess Lavinia deliaRovere, by Olympia Mora- 
ta, and other persons of distinction, who were edi- 
fied by his instructions and prayers, and took a 
deep interest in his fate. When orders were issued 
to prevent strangers from having access to him, he 
employed himself in doing good to his fellow-pri- 
soners, including several persons of rank, confined 
for state crimes, upon whom his piety, joined with 
uncommon modesty and meekness, produced such 
an effect, that they acknowledged, after their en- 
largement, that they never knew what true liberty 
and happiness was, until they found it within the 
walls of a prison. Orders were next given to put 
him in solitary confinement, when he spent his time 
in writing religious letters and essays, which he 
found means of conveying to his friends, and several 


of which were published after his death. So much 
were the priests afraid of the influence which he 
exerted over those who approached him, that both 
his prison and his keeper were repeatedly changed. 
In the year 1550, Julius III. rejecting every inter- 
cession made for his life, ordered him to be execut- 
ed. He was accordingly brought out to the stake 
at an early hour in the morning, to prevent the 
people from witnessing the scene, and being first 
strangled, was committed to the flames.* 

At the same time, and in the same manner, did 
Domenica della Casa Bianca suffer death. He was a 
native of Basano in the Venetian states, and acquir- 
ed the knowledge of the truth in Germany, whither 
he had gone in the army of Charles V. With the zeal 
of a young convert he endeavoured, on his return 
to Italy, to disabuse the minds of his deluded coun- 
trymen. After labouring with success in Naples 
and other places, he was thrown into prison at 
Piacenza, and refusing to retract what he had 
taught, suffered martyrdom with great fortitude, 
in the thirtieth year of his age.j- 

We have already met repeatedly with Giovanni 
Mollio, the Bolognese professor, who was held in 
the highest esteem through Italy for his learning 

* Olympic Morata? Opera, pp. 90, 102, 107. Nolten, Vita Olyra. 
Moratie, pp. 127134. Hist, des Martyrs, f. 185-7. Beza? Icones, 
sig. Hh ij. 

+ Hist, des Martyrs, f. 187, b. The following work I have not 
seen : " He Fannii Faventini ac Dominiei Bassanensis morte, qui 
nuper ob Christum in Italia Rom. Pontificis jussu impie occisi sunt, 
brevis historia ; Fran. Nigro Bassanensi auctore. 1.550." 


and holy life.* After the flight of his brethren 
Ochino and Martyr, in 1542, he was frequently in 
great danger, and more than once in confinement, 
from which he had always providentially escaped. 
But after the accession of pope Julius III. he was 
sought for with great eagerness, and being seized 
at Ravenna, was conducted under a strong guard to 
Rome, and lodged in a strait prison.j- On the 5th 
of September 1553, a public assembly of the inqui- 
sition was held with great pomp, which was attend- 
ed by the six cardinals and their episcopal assessors, 
before whom a number of prisoners were brought 
with torches in their hands. All of them re- 
canted and had penances imposed on them, except 
Mollio, and a native of Perugia, named Tisserano. 
When the articles of accusation against Mollio were 
read, permission was given him to speak. He de- 
fended the different doctrines which he had taught 
respecting justification, the merit of good works, 
auricular confession, and the sacraments ; pronoun- 
ced the power claimed by the pope and his clergy 
to be usurped and antichristian ; and addressed his 
judges in a strain of bold and fervid invective, which 
silenced and chained them to their seats, at the same 
time that it cut them to the quick. " As for you, 
cardinals and bishops," said he, " if I were satisfied 
that you had justly obtained that power which you 
assume to yourselves, and that you had risen to 

* See before, pp. 79, 119. 

t During his imprisonment he composed a commentary on Genesis, 
which is praised by Rabus. (Gcrdesii Italia Reform, p. 302.) 


your eminence by virtuous deeds, and not by blind 
ambition and the arts of profligacy, I would not say 
a word to you. But since I see and know on the best 
grounds, that you have set moderation, and modes- 
ty, and honour, and virtue at defiance, I am con- 
strained to treat you without ceremony, and to de- 
clare that your power is not from God but the devil. 
If it were apostolical, as you would make the poor 
world believe, then your doctrine and life would re- 
semble those of the apostles. When I perceive the 
filth and falsehood and profaneness with which it is 
overspread, what can I think or say of your church but 
that it is a receptacle of thieves and a den of robbers? 
What is your doctrine but a dream, a lie forged by 
hypocrites ? Your very countenances proclaim that 
your belly is your god. Your great object is to seize 
and amass wealth by every species of injustice and 
cruelty. You thirst without ceasing for the blood 
of the saints. Can you be the successors of the holy 
apostles, and vicars of Jesus Christ you who despise 
Christ and his word, who act as if you did not be- 
lieve that there is a God in heaven, who persecute 
to the death his faithful ministers, make his com- 
mandments of no effect, and tyrannize over the con- 
sciences of his saints ? Wherefore I appeal from 
your sentence, and summon you, O cruel tyrants 
and murderers, to answer before the judgment seat 
of Christ at the last day, where your pompous titles 
and gorgeous trappings will not dazzle, nor your 
guards and torturing apparatus terrify us. And in 
testimony of this, take back that which you have 


given me." In saying this, he threw the flaming 
torch which he held in his hand on the ground, and 
extinguished it. Galled and gnashing upon him with 
their teeth, like the persecutors of the first Christian 
martyr, the cardinals ordered Mollio and his com- 
panion, who approved of the testimony he had borne, 
to instant execution. They were conveyed, accord- 
ingly, to the Campo del Fior, where they died with 
the most pious fortitude.* 

Pomponio Algieri, a native of Nola, in the king- 
dom of Naples, was seized when attending the uni- 
versity of Padua, and after being examined in the 
presence of the podesta, was sent bound to Venice. 
His answers, on the different examinations which 
he underwent, contain a luminous view of the truth, 
and form one of the most succinct and nervous re- 
futations of the principal articles of popery, from 
scripture and the decretals, which is anywhere to 
be found. They had the effect of spreading his 
fame through Italy. The senators of Venice, from 
regard to his learning and youth, were anxious to 

* Hist, des Martyrs, f. 264-5. Gerdesii Ital. Reform, p. 104. Zanchi 
gives the following anecdote of this martyr in a letter to Bullinger : 
" I will relate what (Mollio of) Montalcino, the monk who was af- 
terwards burnt at Rome for the gospel, once said to me respecting 
your book, De origine erroris. As I had not read or seen the work, 
he exhorted me to purchase it ; * and (said he) if you have not mo- 
ney, pluck out your right eye to enable you to buy it, and read it 
with the left.' By the favour of providence, I soon found the book 
without losing my eye ; for I bought it for a crown, and abridged it in 
such a character as that not even an inquisitor could read it, and in 
such a form, that, if he had read it, he could not have discovered what 
my sentiments were." (Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. p. 278.) 


set him at liberty, but as he refused to abandon his 
sentiments, they condemned him to the galleys. 
Yet yielding to the importunities of the nuncio, they 
afterwards sent him to Rome, as an acceptable pre- 
sent to the newly-elected pope, Paul IV., by whom 
he was doomed to be burnt alive, in the twenty-fourth 
year of his age. The Christian magnanimity with 
which the youthful martyr bore that cruel death 
terrified the cardinals who attended to grace the 
spectacle. A letter written by Algieri, in his pri- 
son at Venice, describes the consolations by which 
he was refreshed and upheld under his sufferings, 
in language to which I scarcely know a parallel. 
It appears from this interesting document, that the 
friends of evangelical truth were still numerous in 

Equally distinguished was the constancy of Fran- 
cesco Gamba, a native of Como. He was in the 
habit of visiting Geneva for the sake of conversa- 
tion with the learned men of that city. Having, 
on one of these occasions, participated along with 
them of the Lord's supper, the news of this fact 
reached home before him, and he was seized on the 
Lake of Como, thrown into prison, and condemned 
to the flames. His execution was prevented for a 
few days by the interposition of the imperial am- 
bassador and some of the Milanese nobility, during 

* The autograph of this letter, together with the facts respecting 
the writer, were*communicated by Celio Secundo Curio to the histo- 
rian Henry Pantaleon. (Rerum in Eccles. Gest. part. ii. app. 329 
332. Conf. Bez<e Icones, sig. Ilh iij.) 


which interval his firmness was assailed by the so- 
phistry of the monks, the entreaties of his friends, 
and the interest which many of his townsmen of 
the popish persuasion took in his welfare. He mo- 
destly declined the last services of the friars, ex- 
pressed his gratitude to those who had testified a 
concern for his life, and assured the judge, who la- 
mented the necessity which he was under of exe- 
cuting the law, that he forgave him, and prayed 
God to forgive him also. His tongue having been per- 
forated to prevent him from addressing the specta- 
tors, he kneeled down and prayed at the place of 
execution ; then rising, he looked round the crowd, 
which consisted of several thousands, for a friend, 
to whom he waved his right hand, which was loose, 
as the appointed sign that he retained his confi- 
dence ; after which he stretched out his neck to the 
executioner, who had been authorized, by way of 
favour, to strangle him before committing his body 
to the fire,* 

Godfredo Varaglia, though a Piemontese, and put 
to death in his native country, deserves a place 
here from his intimate connexion with Italy. He 
belonged to the order of Capuchins, and acquired 
great celebrity as one of their preachers. Inherit- 
ing from his father a strong antipathy to the Wal- 
denses, he received a mission to labour in their con- 

* This account is taken from a letter written by a gentleman of 
Como to the martyr's brother. (Acta et Monim. Martyrum, f. 270 
272. Wolfii Lect. Memorab. torn. ii. p. 686.) Gamba suffered on 
the 21st of July 1554. 


version, from which the highest hopes, founded on 
his eloquence and zeal, were formed^ but the issue 
turned out very different, for he became a convert 
to the opinions of his opponents, and, like another 
Paul, began to preach the faith which he had sought 
to destroy.* From that time he acted in concert 
with Ochino. When the latter left Italy, he and 
twelve others of his order were apprehended and 
conveyed to Rome. As the suspicions against them 
were slight, or their interest powerful, they were 
admitted to make an abjuration of heresy in gene- 
ral terms, and confined to the capital on their parole 
for five years. At the end of that period Varaglia 
was persuaded to lay aside the cowl, and enter into 
secular orders. His talents had procured him the 
friendship of a dignitary of the church, from whom 
he enjoyed a pension for some time ; and his patron 
being appointed legate from the pope to the king 
of France in the year 1556, he accompanied him to 
that country. But his conscience not permitting 
him any longer to conceal his sentiments, he parted 
from the legate at Lyons and repaired to Geneva, 
where he accepted an appointment to preach the 
gospel to the Waldenses in the valley of Angrogna.f 

* Leger, Histoire cles Eglises Vaudoises, p. 29. Hospinian, by mis- 
take, makes Varaglia to have been the founder of the Capuchins. 
(De Orig. Monach. cap. ix. p. 297.) This order of monks was insti- 
tuted by Matthseus de Baschi. (Observationes Halenses, torn. iv. 
p. 410.) 

f This is the account which he gave of himself on his examination 
before the supreme court of justice at Turin. (Hist, des Martyrs, 
f. 1186.) 


He had not laboured many months among that 
people, when h^ was apprehended, conveyed to Tu- 
rin, and condemned to death, which he endured 
with great fortitude on the 29th of March 1 558, in 
the 50th year of his age. When interrogated on 
his trial as to his companions, he told his judges 
that he had lately been in company with twenty- 
four preachers, who had mostly come from Geneva ; 
and that the number of those who were ready to 
follow them was so great that the inquisitors would 
not find wood wherewith to burn them.* 

Ludovico Paschali was a native of Cuni in Pie- 
mont, and having acquired a taste for evangelical 
doctrine at Nice, left the army to which he had been 
bred, and went to study at Lausanne. When the 
Waldenses of Calabria applied to the Italian church 
at Geneva for preachers, Paschali was fixed upon 
as eminently qualified for that station. Having ob- 
tained the consent of Camilla Guerina, a young wo- 
man to whom he had previously been affianced, he 
set out along with Stefano Negrino. On their ar- 
rival in Calabria, they found the country in that 
state of agitation which we have already described, 
and after labouring for some time to quiet the minds 
of the people and comfort them under persecution, 
they were both apprehended at the instance of the 

* The account of Varaglia was transmitted to Pantaleon by Celio 
Secundo Curio. (Rerum in Eccl. Gest. pp. 33-1, 33.5. Hist, des Mar- 
tyrs, f. 418 121.) In 1363, the nuncio Visconti wrote to cardinal 
Borromeo, that more than the half of the Picmontese were Hugonots- 
(Epist. apud Gerdes. Ital. Ref. p. 91.) 


inquisitor. Negri no was allowed to perish of hun- 
ger in the prison. Paschali, after being kept eight 
months in confinement at Cosenza, was conducted 
to Naples, from which he was transferred to Rome. 
His sufferings were great, and he bore them with 
the most uncommon fortitude and patience, as ap- 
pears from the letters, equally remarkable for their 
sentiment and pious unction, which he wrote from his 
prisons to the persecuted flock in Calabria, to his 
afflicted spouse, and to the church of Geneva. Giv- 
ing an account of his journey from Cosenza to Na- 
ples, he says : " Two of our companions had been 
prevailed on to recant, but they were no better treat- 
ed on that account ; and God knows what they will 
suffer at Rome, where they are to be conveyed, as 
well as Marquet and myself. The good Spaniard, 
our conductor, wished us to give him money to 
be relieved from the chain by which we were 
bound to one another ; yet in addition to this he put 
on me a pair of handcuffs so strait that they enter- 
ed into the flesh and deprived me of all sleep ; and I 
found that, if at all, he would not remove them un- 
til he had drawn from me all the money I had, 
amounting only to two ducats, which I needed for 
my support. At night the beasts were better treat- 
ed than we, for their litter was spread for them, while 
we were obliged to lie on the hard ground without 
any covering ; and in this condition we remained 
for nine nights. On our arrival at Naples, we were 
thrust into a cell, noisome in the highest degree from 
the damp and the putrid breath of the prisoners." 


His brother, who had come fromCuni, with letters of 
recommendation to endeavour to procure his liberty, 
gives the following account of the first interview 
which, after great difficulty, he obtained with him at 
Rome, in the presence of a judge of the inquisition. 
" It was hideous to see him, with his bare head and 
his hands and arms lacerated with the small cords 
with which he was bound, like one about to be led 
to the gibbet. On advancing to embrace him, I sank 
to the ground. ' My brother !' said he, if you are 
a Christian, why do you distress yourself thus ? 
Do you not know, that a leaf cannot fall to the 
earth without the will of God ? Comfort yourself 
in Christ Jesus, for the present troubles are not 
worthy to be compared with the glory to come.' 
' No more of that talk !' exclaimed the judge. When 
we were about to part, my brother begged the 
judge to remove him to a less horrid prison. 
4 There is no other prison for you than this.' 
' At least show me a little pity in my last days, 
and God will show it to you.' ' There is no pity 
for such obstinate and hardened criminals as you.' 
A Piemontese doctor who was present joined me 
in entreating the judge to grant this favour ; but 
he remained inflexible. ' He will do it for the 
love of God,' said my brother. * All the other pri- 
sons are full,' replied the judge. ' They are not 
so full but that a small corner can be spared for 
me.' ' You would infect all who were near you by 
your smooth speeches.' ' I will speak to none who 
does not speak to me.' ' Be content : you cannot 


have another place.' ' I must then have patience,' 
replied my brother." How convincing a proof of 
the power of the gospel do we see in the confidence 
and joy displayed by Paschali under such protract- 
ed and exhausted sufferings. " My state is this," 
says he, in a letter to his former hearers : " I feel 
my joy increase every day as I approach nearer to 
the hour in which I shall be offered as a sweet- 
smelling sacrifice to the Lord Jesus Christ, my 
faithful Saviour ; yea, so inexpressible is my joy, 
that I seem to myself to be free from captivity, and 
am prepared to die not only once, but many thou- 
sand times, for Christ, if it were possible ; never- 
theless, I persevere in imploring the divine assist- 
ance by prayer, for I am convinced that man is a 
miserable creature, when left to himself, and not 
upheld and directed by God." And a short time 
before his death, he said to his brother, " I give 
thanks to my God, that, in the midst of my long- 
continued and severe affliction, there are some who 
wish me well ; and I thank you, my dearest brother, 
for the friendly interest you have taken in my wel- 
fare. But as for me, God has bestowed on me that 
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ which assures 
me that I am not in an error, and I know that I 
must go by the narrow way of the cross, and seal 
my testimony with my blood. I do not dread 
death, and still less the loss of my earthly goods ; 
for I am certain of eternal life and a celestial in- 
heritance, and my heart is united to my Lord and 
Saviour." When his brother was urging him to 


yield somewhat, with the view of saving his life 
and property, he replied, " O ! my brother, the 
danger in which you are involved gives me more 
distress than all that I suffer, or have the prospect 
of suffering ; for I perceive that your mind is so 
addicted to earthly things as to be indifferent to 
heaven." At last, on the 8th of September 1560, 
he was brought out to the conventual church of 
Minerva, to hear his process publicly read ; and 
next day he appeared, without any diminution of 
his courage, in the court adjoining the castle of 
St. Angelo, where he was strangled and burnt, in 
the view of the pope and a party of cardinals as- 
sembled to witness the spectacle.* 

Passing over others, I shall give an account of 
two individuals of great celebrity for their talents 
and stations, but whose names, owing to the 
secrecy with which they were put to death, have 
not obtained a place in the martyrology of the 
protestant church. 

Pietro Carnesecchi was a Florentine of good 
birth, and liberally educated.f From his youth it 
appeared that he was destined to " stand before 
kings and not before mean men." Possessing a 
fine person, and a quick and penetrating judgment, 
he united affability with dignity in his manners, and 

* Hist, des Martyrs, f. 506516. Leger, Hist, des Eglises Vau- 
doises, part. i. p. 20 1. 

t Camerarius says, that Francesco Robertcllo was his preceptor. 
(Epistola? Flaminii, &c apud Schelhornii Amcenit. Literarite, torn. x. 
p. 1200.) If this was the case, the master must have been as young 
as the scholar. (Tiraboschi, torn. vii. p. 841.) 


was at once discreet and generous. Sadolet praises 
him as " a young man of distinguished virtue and 
liberal accomplishments ;"* and Bembo speaks of 
him in terms of the highest respect and affection.f 
He was made secretary, and afterwards apostolical 
protonotary, to Clement VII. , who bestowed on him 
two abbacies, one in Naples, and the other in France ; 
and so great was his influence with that pope, that 
it was commonly said, " that the church was go- 
verned by Carnesecchi rather than Clement." Yet 
he conducted himself with so much modesty and 
propriety in his delicate situation, as not to incur 
envy during the life of his patron, and to escape dis- 
grace at his death. But the advancement of Car- 
nesecchi in the career of worldly honour which he 
had commenced so auspiciously, was arrested by a 
different cause. At Naples he formed an intimacy 
with Valdez, from whom he imbibed the reformed 
doctrine ;| and, as he possessed great candour and 
love of truth, his attachment to these doctrines daily 
acquired strength from reading, meditation, and con- 
ference with learned men. During the better days 
of cardinal Pole, he made one of the select party 
which met in that prelate's house at Viterbo, and 
spent the time in religious exercises. $ When his 

* Epist. Famil. vol. ii. p. 189. 

+ Lettere, torn. iii. pp. 437 439. 

X Laderchii Annates, ad an. 1567. 

" II resto del giorno passo con questa santa e utile compagnia 
de' Sig. Carnesecchi, e Mr. Marco Antonio Flaminio nostro. Utile 
io chiamo, perche la sera poi Mr. Marco Antonio da pasto a me, e 
alia miglior parte della famiglia, de illo cibo qui non perit, in tal ma- 


friend Flaminio, startling at the thought of leaving 
the church of Rome, stopped short in his inquiries, 
Carnesecchi displayed that mental courage which 
welcomes truth when she tramples on received pre- 
judices, and follows her in spite of the hazards which 
environ her path.* After the flight of Ochino and 
Martyr, he incurred the violent suspicions of those 
who prosecuted the search after heresy, and in 1546, 
he was cited to Rome, where cardinal de Burgos, 
one of the inquisitors, was ordered to investigate the 
charges brought against him. He was accused of cor- 
responding with the heretics who had fled from 
justice, supplying suspected persons with money 
to enable them to retire to foreign parts, giving tes- 
timonials to schoolmasters, who, under the pretext 
of teaching the rudiments of knowledge, poisoned the 
minds of the youth with their heretical catechisms, 
and particularly with having recommended to the 
duchess of Trajettof two apostates, whom he praised 
to the skies as apostles sent to preach the gospel to 
the heathen. t Through the favour of the mild pon- 
tiff Paul III. the matter was accommodated, but 
Carnesecchi, to avoid the odium which had been 
excited against him, found it necessary to quit Italy 

niera che io non so quando io abbia sentito maggior consolatione, ne 
maggior edificatione." Lettere, il Card. Reg. Polo al Card. Grasp. 
Contarini; di Viterbo, alii ix di Decembre 1541. (Poli Epistolo? 
vol. iii. p. 42.) 

* See before, p. 171. 

t See before, p. 162. 

+ Ladercbii Annal. ad an. lo<j7. 



for a season. After spending some time with Mar- 
garet, duchess of Savoy, who was not unfriendly to 
the reformed doctrines, he went to France, where 
he enjoyed the favour of the new monarch, Henry 
II., and his queen, Catharine de Medicis. In the 
year 1552, he returned to his native country, con- 
firmed in his opinions hy the intercourse which he 
had had with foreign protestants,* and took up his 
residence chiefly at Padua, within the Venetian ter- 
ritories, because he was in less danger there from the 
intrigues of the court of Rome, and could enjoy the 
society of those who were of the same religious sen- 
timents with himself. Paul IV. had not been long- 
seated on the papal throne when a criminal process 
was commenced against him. As he did not choose 
to put himself at the mercy of that furious pope, he 
was formally summoned at Rome and Venice, and 
failing to appear within the prescribed term, the sen- 
tence of excommunication was launched against him, 
by which he was delivered over to the secular 
power to be punished, when taken, as a contu- 
macious heretic. f When Giovanni Angelo de' Me- 
dici ascended the chair of St. Peter, under the 

* Ladcrchius says he formed an intimacy with Philip Mclanchthon. 
But as the latter was never in France, Schelhorn thinks the person 
referred to might be Andrew Melanchthon, a relation of that reform- 
er, who was imprisoned for preaching in the Agenois. (Amoen. Hist. 
Eccles. torn. ii. p. 1 92. ) 

t The process against him was commenced October 25, 1557 ; the 
monitory summons was issued March 24, 155S ; and the excommuni- 
cation was passed April G, 1559. (Laderchius, ut supra.) 


name of Pius IV., Carnesecchi, who had always 
lived on terms of great intimacy with the family 
of this pontiff, obtained from him the removal of 
the sentence of excommunication without being 
required to make any abjuration of his opinions. 
The popish writers complain, that, notwithstanding 
these repeated favours, he still kept up his corre- 
spondence with heretics in Naples, Rome, Florence, 
Venice, Padua, and other places both within and 
without Italy ; that he gave supplies of money to 
Peter Gelid, a sacramentarian heretic, Leone Mari- 
onio, and others who had gone to Geneva ; and 
that he recommended the writings of the Lutherans 
while he spoke degradingly of those of the catholics. 
On the accession of Pius V. he retired to Florence, 
and put himself under the protection of Cosmo, the 
grand duke of Tuscany, justly dreading the venge- 
ance of the new pontiff. From papers afterwards 
found in his possession, it appears that he had in- 
tended to retire to Geneva, but was induced by the 
confidence which he placed in his protector to delay 
the execution of his purpose until it was too late. The 
pope despatched the master of the sacred palace to 
Florence with a flattering letter to Cosmo, and in- 
structions to request that he would deliver up Car- 
nesecchi as a dangerous heretic, who had long la- 
boured in various ways to destroy the catholic faith, 
and been the instrument of corrupting the minds 
of multitudes. When the master of the palace 
arrived, and delivered his letter, Carnesecchi was 


sitting at table with the grand duke, who, to ingra- 
tiate himself with the pope, ordered his guest to 
be immediately arrested as a prisoner, and con- 
ducted to Rome ; a violation of the laws of hos- 
pitality and friendship for which he received the 
warm thanks of his holiness.* The prisoner was 
proceeded against without delay, before the court of 
inquisition, on a charge consisting of thirty-four 
articles, which comprehended all the peculiar doc- 
trines held by protestants in opposition to the church 
of Rome.t These articles were proved by witnesses, 
and by the letters of the prisoner, who, after defend- 
ing himself for some time, admitted the truth of the 
charge, and owned the articles generally. We have 
the testimony of a popish historian, who consulted 
the records of the inquisition, to the constancy with 
which Carnesecchi adhered to his sentiments. "With 
hardened heart (says he) and uncircumcised ears 
he refused to yield to the necessity of his circum- 
stances, and rendered the admonitions and the often 
repeated delays granted him for deliberation use- 
less, so that he could not by any means be induced 

* Thuani Hist, ad an. 1566. Laderchius, who has inserted in 
his Annals the pope's letters to Cosmo, admits the truth of De Thou's 
narrative as to the manner of Carnesecchi's apprehension, which he 
applauds, " ex bene acta re et optima Cosmi mente." The letter 
demanding Carnesecchi is dated June 20, and the letter of thanks 
July 1, 1566. 

f The articles are given at large by Laderchius, in his Annals, 
from which they have been reprinted by Schelhorn, (Amcen. Hist. 
Ecclcs. torn. ii. pp. 197 205,) and by Gerdesius with some abridg- 
ment. (Ital. Ref. pp. 14* 148.) 


to abjure his errors and return to the bosom of the 
true religion, as Pius wished, who had resolved, if 
he repented, to visit his past crimes with a milder 
punishment than they merited."* We will not run 
great risk of transgressing the law of charity by 
supposing that the inquisitors detained him fifteen 
months in prison with the view of having the credit 
of proclaiming him a penitent; and that no confession 
would have saved him from a capital punishment. 
On the 3d of October 1567, he was beheaded, and 
his body committed to the flames. f 

It has been the barbarous policy of the church of 
Rome to destroy the fame, however well earned, 
and, if possible, to abolish the memory and blot out 
the very names, of those whose lives she has taken 
away for heresy. When we consider that Flaminio 
did not altogether escape this occulta censura, and 
that his name was expunged from letters which 
were published after his death, though he was 
never formally convicted of heresy, and had seve- 

* Laderchius, ut supra. 

t Laderchius, Annales ad an. 1567. Thuani Hist, ad an. 1566. 
Tiraboschi, Storia dellaLett. ItaL tomo vii. pp. 384, 385. Laderchius 
says, the sentence was passed Aug. 16, and publicly read Sept. 21. 
Tirabosclvi has given the date of the execution from Storia del Gran 
Dacato di Toscano, by Sig. Galluzzi, a work which I regret not hav- 
ing seen. Laderchius expresses great displeasure at De Thou for 
saying that Carnesecchi was condemned to ihe fire without saying 
whether he was to be committed to it dead or alive ; and he asserts 
that the Roman church never determined that heretics should be 
burnt alive. But in his next volume he found it necessary to cor- 
rect his own error, and to admit the truth of what he had denied. 
(Annal. torn, xxiii. f. 200.) 


ral friends in the sacred college, need we wonder 
that the name of Carnesecchi should have suffered 
the same fate ?* The subject is curious, and it may 
not be improper to adduce an example or two. The 
celebrated Muretus was engaged in publishing a 
work which was intended to contain a poem in 
praise of Carnesecchi. In the mean time a prosecu- 
tion for heresy was commenced against the object 
of his panegyric, which threw the delicate author 
into great perplexity. Averse to lose the ode, but 
afraid to associate himself with a person suspected 
of heresy, he held a consultation on the subject, and 
the result was, that his caution conquered his vanity 
and the poem was suppressed.! Carnesecchi was the 
intimate friend of the learned printer Aldus Manu- 
tius, and was godfather to one of his sons ; but in 
a collection of the letters of Manutius, published af- 
ter Carnesecchi had incurred the heretical stigma, 
the godfather sinks into one Pero. In an edition 
of his letters published in 1558, the same scholar, 
writing to Muretus, speaks in the most kindly man- 
ner of his Carnesecchi ; but in subsequent editions, 

* " Neque tamen occultam censuram effugit, (Flamiuius) ejus no- 
mine passim in epistolis, qute postea publicatae sunt, expuncto." 
(Thuani Hist, ad an. 1551.) Schelhorn has produced a number of 
instances in illustration of the truth of De Thou's assertion. (Er- 
gotzlichkeiten, torn. i. pp. 201 205.) 

t The passage relating to this subject is in a letter to Aldus Ma- 
nutius, and begins in the following characteristic strain : " Erat ad Pe- 
trum rot \r,oxpt* (finge aliquod ejustnodi nomen aut latinum aut ver- 
naculum, ita quern dicam intelliges) ode una jam pridem scripta ; de 
qua, quid faciam, nescio," &c. (Mureti Orat. et Epist. lib. i. p. 442. 
Lips. 1672.) 


including those which proceeded from his own press, 
we find the harsh name of his friend gratefully soft- 
ened down to Molini. Again, in dedicating an edi- 
tion of the works of Sallust to cardinal Trivulzi, Ma- 
nutius mentions " Petrus Carneseccus, the protono- 
tary, an honoured person, distinguished for every vir- 
tue, and excelling in a cultivated mind any that I have 
met with in the course of my life ;" but in the sub- 
sequent editions of the dedication we look in vain 
for the name of the " honoured" protonotary ! * 
To come nearer to our own times, about the mid- 
dle of the eighteenth century, an edition of the 
poems of Flaminio was published by Mancurti, one 
of his countrymen, who found it necessary, or judg- 
ed it proper, to omit the odes addressed to Car- 
nesecchi, " lest he should incur the censure of those 
who have said and written that Marcus Antonius 
Flaminius was a heretic, because he cultivated the 
friendship of Carneseechi."f Nor is this all ; for the 

* Schelhorn, Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. i. pp. 205 209. 

+ Flaminii Carmina, ex prelo Cominiano, 1743, p. 375. The editor, 
Franciscus Maria Mancurtius, had included the odes referred to in 
a former edition of the work, printed in 1727. (Schelhorn, Ergotz- 
lichkeiten, tom. i. pp. 189, 191, 197. C'onf. Amcen. Hist. Eccl. torn, 
ii. p. 209.) I subjoin one of the poems, from which the learned 
reader will judge of the violence which the editor must have done to 
his taste, when he prevailed on himself to exclude it : 

Ad Petrum Carnesecum. 

O dulce hospitium, O lares beati, 
O mores faciles, O Atticorum 
Conditse sale collocutiones, 
Quain vos tegro aniino, et laborioso, 
Quantis cum lacrymis miser relinquo ! 


learned editor, in quoting from a dedication to a 
former edition of the poems in which Carnesecchi 
was highly praised,* suppresses his name ; forget- 
ting, perhaps, that his excellent author had himself 
been formerly subjected to the same unworthy treat- 
ment. These facts are not irrelative to our subject. 
They will suggest to the intelligent reader a train 
of reflections as to the fatal influence which bigotry 
and intolerance must have exerted at this time in 
Italy over all that is liberal in letters or generous 
in spirit. If it is only after the most laborious 
search, and often in the way of catching at obscure 
hints, detecting fallacious names, and cross-examin- 
ing and confronting editions of the works of the 
learned, that we have been able to discover much of 
what we know of the Reformation and its friends in 
that country, how many facts respecting them must 

Cur me sseva necessitas abire, 
Cur vulturflj atque oculos, jocosque suaves 
Cogit linquere tam veriusti amici ? 
Ah reges valeant, opesque regum, 
Et quisquis potuit domos potentum 
Anteponere candidi sodalis 
Blandis alloquiis, facetiisque ; 
Sed quanquam procul a tuis ocellis, 
Jucundissime Carncsece, abibo 
Regis imperium mei secutus, 
Non loci tamen ulla, temporisve 
Intervalla., tuos mihi lepores, 
Non mors ipsa adimet. Manebo tecum, 
Tecum semper ero, tibique semper 
Magnam partem animtE meae relinquam, 
Mellite, optime, mi venuste amice. 
Schelhom, Ergotz. tom.i. p. 196-7. 


remain hid, or have been irrecoverably lost, in con- 
sequence of the long-continued practice of such sys- 
tematic suppression and combined imposture ? 

We have already spoken of Aonio Paleario, * 
or, according to his proper name, Antonio dalla 
Paglia.f On quitting the Siennese about the year 
1543, he embraced an invitation from the senate of 
Lucca, where he taught the Latin classics, and act- 
ed as orator to the republic on solemn occasions. To 
this place he was followed by Maco Blaterone, one of 
his former adversaries, a sciolist who possessed that 
volubility of tongue which captivates the vulgar 
ear, and whose ignorance and loquacity had been 
severely chastised, but not corrected, by the satiri- 
cal pen of Aretino. Lucca at that time abounded 
with men of enlightened and honourable minds ; 
and the genuine eloquence of Paleario, sustained by 
the lofty bearing of his spirit, enabled him easily 
to triumph over his unworthy rival, who, disgraced 
and driven from the city, sought his revenge from 
the Dominicans at Rome. By means of his friends 
in the conclave, Paleario counteracted at that 
time the informations of his accuser, which, liow- 

* See before, p. 125, &c. 

f Tiraboschi, vii. 1452. The wretched iambics in which Latinus 
Latinius charges Paleario with having renounced his baptism by 
changing his Christian name, and alleges that his dropping the letter 
T from it was ominous of the manner in which " the wretched 
old man expiated his crimes on a gibbet," have been thought wor- 
thy of a place in the Menagiana. De la Monnoye, who wrote an 
epigram in Greek and Latin in opposition to them, says, " They are 
so frigid that they would have quenched the flames in which Palea- 
rio was consumed." (Menag. torn. i. p. 21 7. J 



ever, were produced against him at a future period.* 
Meanwhile, his spirit submitted with reluctance to 
the drudgery of teaching languages, while his income 
was insufficient for supporting the domestic esta- 
blishment which his wife, who had been genteel- 
ly bred, aspired to.f In these circumstances, after 
remaining about ten years at Lucca, he accepted an 
invitation from the senate of Milan, which conferred 
on him a liberal salary, together with special im- 
munities, as professor of eloquence.:]: He kept his 
place in that city during seven years, though in 
great perils amidst the severities practised towards 
those suspected of favouring the new opinions. But 
in the year 1566, while deliberating about his re- 
moval to Bologna, $ he was caught in the storm 
which burst on so many learned and excellent men 
at the elevation of Pius V. to the pontifical chair. 
Being seized by Frate Angelo de Cremona, the 
inquisitor, and conveyed to Rome, he was commit- 
ted to close confinement in the Torre Nona. His 
book on the Benefit of Christ's death, his commend- 
ations of Ochino,|| his defence of himself before the 
senators at Sienna, and the suspicions which he had 
incurred during his residence at that place and at 
Lucca, were all revived against him. After the 
whole had been collected and sifted, the charge at last 

* Epistola?, lib. iii. 10, 1? : Opera Palearii, pp. 525 531, 550 
554. edit. Halbaueri. 

+ Epist. lib. iv. 4 : ibid. p. 563. 

% Halbauer has given the diploma of the civic authorities, in his 
Life of Paleario, pp. 27 29. 

Tiraboschi, vii. 1454. || Palearii Opera, p. 102-3. 


resolved itself into the four following articles : that 
he denied purgatory ; disapproved of burying thedead 
in churches, preferring the ancient Roman method 
of sepulture without the walls of cities ; ridiculed 
the monastic life ; and appeared to ascribe justifi- 
cation solely to confidence in the mercy of God for- 
giving our sins through Jesus Christ.* For holding 
these opinions, he was condemned, after an im- 
prisonment of three years, to be suspended on a 
gibbet and his body to be given to the flames ; and 
the sentence was executed on the 3d of July 1570, 
in the seventieth year of his age.f A minute, 
which professes to be an official document of the 
Dominicans who attended him in his last mo- 
ments, but which has neither names nor signa- 
tures, states that Paleario died confessed and eon- 
trite.:!: The testimony of such interested report- 
ers, though it had been better authenticated, is 
not to be implicitly received ; as it is well known 
that they were accustomed to boast, without the 
slightest foundation, of the conversions which they 
made on such occasions. $ In the present instance 

* Laderchii Annales, torn. xxii. p. 202. 

t Writers have varied as to the year of his martyrdom, which 
however may be considered as determined by an extract from a re- 
gister kept in San Giovanni de' Fiorentini cli Roma, which was print- 
ed in Novelle Letterarie dell' Anno 1715, p. 328, and reprinted by 
Schelhorn. (Dissert, de Mino Celso Senensi, p. 2o-G.) 

Diss, de Mino Celso, p. 26. Tiraboschi, following Padra Lago- 
marsini and Abbate Lazzeri, has adopted this opinion, but solely 
on the ground referred to in the text. 

Conringius has shown this from a variety of examples. (Pra>- 
fat. ad Cassandri et Wicelii Libr. de Sacris nostri tcmporis Contro- 
versiis, p. 148.) 


it is contradicted by the popish continuator of the 
annals of the church, who drew his materials from 
the records of the inquisition, and represents Pale- 
ario as dying impenitent. His words are : " When 
it appeared that this son of Belial was obstinate 
and refractory, and could by no means be recovered 
from the darkness of error to the light of truth, he 
was deservedly delivered to the fire, that, after suf- 
fering its momentary pains here, he might be bound 
in everlasting flames hereafter."* The unnatural and 
disordered conceptions which certain persons have 
of right and wrong prompt them to impart facts 
which their more judicious but not less guilty as- 
sociates would have concealed or coloured. To 
this we owe the following account of Paleario's be- 
haviour on his trial before the cardinals of the in- 
quisition. " When he saw that he could produce 
nothing in defence of his pravity," sa)^s the annal- 
ist just quoted, " falling into a rage, he broke out 
in these words : ' Seeing your eminences have so 
many credible witnesses against me, it is unneces- 
sary for you to give yourselves or me longer trou- 
ble. I am resolved to act according to the ad- 
vice of the blessed apostle Peter, when he says, 
Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that 
we should follow his steps ; who did no evil, nei- 
ther was guile found in his mouth ; who, when he 
was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered 
threatened not, but committed himself to him that 

* Ladcrchii Annal. torn. xx. f. 201. 


judgeth righteously. Proceed then to give judg- 
ment pronounce sentence on Aonio ; and thus 
gratify his adversaries and fulfil your office.' "* 
Instead of supposing that the person who uttered 
these words was under the influence of passion, 
every reader of right feeling will be disposed to ex- 
claim, " Here is the patience and the faith of the 
saints !" Before leaving his cell for the place of 
execution, he was permitted to write two letters, 
one to his wife, and another to his sons, Lampri- 
dio and Fedro.f They are short, but the more af- 
fecting from this very circumstance ; because it is 
evident, that he was restrained by the fear of 
saying any thing which, by giving offence to his 
judges, might lead to the suppression of the letters, 
or to the harsh treatment of his family after his 
death. They testify the pious fortitude with which 
he met his death, as an issue which he had long an- 
ticipated and wished for, and that warmth of con- 
jugal and paternal affection which breathes in all 
his letters.:}: They also afford a negative proof that 
the report of his recantation was unfounded ; for if 
he had really changed his sentiments, would he not 
have felt anxious to acquaint his family with the 
fact? and if his repentance had been merely feigned, 
would the monks have insisted on his noticing the 
subject when they granted him permission to write ? 
Paleario had, before his apprehension, taken care 

* Laderchius, ut supra, f. 205. 

f He left two sons and two daughters. 

X The letters will be found in the Appendix. 


to secure his writings against the risk of suppres- 
sion, by committing them to the care of friends 
whom he could trust ; and their repeated publication 
in protestant countries has saved them from those 
mutilations to which the works of so many of his 
countrymen have been subjected. From his letters 
it appears that he enjoyed the friendship and corre- 
spondence of the most celebrated persons of that time 
both in the church and in the republic of letters. 
Among the former were cardinals Sadolet, Bembo, 
Pole, Maflfei, Badia, Filonardo, and Sfondrati ; and 
among the latter Flaminio, Riccio, Alciati, Vittorio, 
Lampridio, and Buonamici. His poem on the Im- 
mortality of the soul was received with applause by 
the learned.* It is perhaps no high praise to say 
of his Orations, that they placed him above all the 
moderns who obtained the name of Ciceronians from 
their studious imitation of the style of the Roman 
orator ; but they are certainly written with much 
elegance and spirit.f His Letter, addressed to the 
reformers, on the council of Trent, and his Testi- 
mony and Pleading against the Roman pontiffs, 

* Tiraboschi, torn. vii. pp. 14541456. Sadolet says of it, in a 
letter to Sebastian Gryphseus, " Tarn graviter, tam erudite, tam 
etiam et verbis et numeris apte et eleganter tractatum esse ; nihil ut 
ferme nostrorum temporum legerim, quod me in eo genere delectavit 
magis." (Palearii Opera, p. 627 ; conf. p. 624.) 

t Morhbffsays, " Longe aliter sonat quod Palearius scribit, quam 
Longolius et alii inepti Ciceronis iinitatores." (Colleg. Epistolic. 
p. 17.) Crenius has collected several testimonies to the merit of Pa- 
learius. (Animad. Philolog. et Historic, part. ii. pp. 1823. Conf. 
Misccll. Groning, torn. iii. p. 92-3. Des Maizeaux, Scaligerana, &c. 
torn. ii. p. 483.) A Life of Paleario is in Bayle, and in Niceron. 


evince a knowledge of the scriptures, soundness in 
the faith, candour, and fervent zeal, worthy of a 
reformer and confessor of the truth.* His tract on 
the Benefit of the death of Christ was uncommonly 
useful, and made a great noise at its first publica- 
tion. Forty thousand copies of it were sold in the 
course of six years. f It is said that cardinal Pole 
had a share in composing it, and that Flaminio 
wrote a defence of it ;$ and activity in circulating it 
formed one of the charges on which cardinal Mo- 
rone was imprisoned and Carnesecchi committed to 
the flames.} When we take into consideration his 

* The Letter appears to have heen written with the view of being sent 
along with Ochino, when he retired from Italy ; and one copy of it was 
addressed to Bucer and another to Calvin. Salig gave an account of 
it, without knowing the author ; (Historie der Augspurgischen Con- 
fession, torn. ii. lib. v. p. 66;) but it was published for the first time in 
1737, by Schelhorn, along with a short account of the martyrdom of 
the author. (Amcenit. Hist. Eccles. torn. i. pp. 425 462.) The other 
work, entitled Testimonia et Actio in Pontifices Romanos et eorum 
Asseclas, though intended also by the author to be sent across the 
Alps, was first found in his hand-writing at Sienna in the year 1596, 
and printed in 1606 at Leipsic. (Halbauer, Vita Palearii, p. 49.) 
The only peculiar opinion which the author adopted was the unlaw- 
fulness of an oath in any case, which he endeavours to support at 
some length. (Opera, p. 317, &c.) When he calls marriage a sa- 
crament, he appears to me merely to mean that it was a divine or sa- 
cred ordinance. (Ibid. pp. 305, 315.) 

f Schelhorn, Ergotzliehkeiten, torn. i. p. 27. 
X Schelhorn, Amcenit. Hist. Eccl. torn. i. p. 156. Laderchii An- 
nal. torn. xxii. p. 326. 

Wolfii Lect. Memorab. torn. ii. p. 656. Schelhorn, ut supra, 
torn. ii. p. 205. The only writer for two centuries, so far as I know, 
who has seen this rare work is Reiderer. The proper title is : Trat- 
tato utilissimo del beneficio de Giesu Christo crucifisso, verso i Chris- 
tiani. Venetiis apud Bernardinum de Bindonis, Anno Do. 1543. 


talents, his zeal, the utility of his writings, and the 
sufferings which he endured, Paleario must be view- 
ed as one of the greatest ornaments of the reformed 
cause in Italy.* 

A number of other excellent men suffered about 
the same time with Carnesecchi and Paleario, of 
whom the most noted were Julio Zannetti and Bar- 
tolommeo Bartoccio.f The latter was the son of a 
wealthy citizen of Castel in the duchy of Spoletto, and 
imbibed the reformed doctrine from Fabrizio Tom- 
massi of Gubbio, a learned young gentleman, who 
was his companion in arms at the siege of Sienna, i 
On returning home he zealously propagated the 
truth, and made converts of several of his relations. 
During a dangerous sickness by which he was at- 
tacked, he refused to avail himself of the services of 
the family confessor, and resisted all the arguments 

(Nachrichten zur Kirchen-gelerten und Biicher-geschichte, torn. iv. 
p. 121.) An answer was made to it by Ambrogio Catarino, after- 
wards rewarded with an archbishopric. 

* The Italian works of Paleario, printed and in MS. including some 
poems, are mentioned by Tiraboschi. (Tom. vii. p. 1456.) Joannes 
Matthreus Toscanus, the author of Peplus Hulioc, who was a pupil of 
Paleario, composed the following verses, among others, on his mas- 
ter : 

Aonio Aonides Graios prompsere lepores, 

Et quascunquc vctus protulit Hellas opes. 
Aonio Latise tinxer-unt melle Camcense 

Verba ligata modis, verba soluta modis. 
Quae nee longa dies, nee (quae scelerata cremasti 
Aonii corpus) perdere flamma potest, 
f Thuani Hist, ad an. 1566. Mat. Flacii Catal. Test. Vcrit. ap- 
pend . 

% In 1555. 


by which the bishop of the diocese attempted to 
bring him back to the catholic faith ; upon which 
he was summoned, along with his companions, be- 
fore the governor Paolo Vitelli. Though still weak 
with the effects of his distemper, he rose in the 
night time, surmounted the wall of the city by the 
help of a pike, and escaped first to Sienna and af- 
terwards to Venice. Having ascertained by letters 
that there was no hope of his being allowed to re- 
turn to his native place, or of his receiving support 
from his father, except in the way of recanting his 
opinions, he retired to Geneva, where he married 
and became a manufacturer of silk. In the end of 
the year 1567 while visiting Genoa in the course 
of trade, having imprudently given his real name 
to a merchant, he was apprehended by the in- 
quisition. The magistrates of Geneva and Berne 
sent to demand his liberation from the Genoese re- 
public, but before their envoy arrived the prisoner 
had been sent to Rome at the request of the pope. 
After suffering an imprisonment of nearly two 
years, he was sentenced to be burnt alive. The 
courage which Bartocci had all along displayed did 
not forsake him in the trying hour. He walked 
to the place of execution with a firm step and un- 
altered countenance ; and the cry, Vittoria, vittoria } 
was distinctly heard from him after he was wrap- 
ped in the flames.* 

But it is time to bring this distressing part of 
our narrative to a close. Suffice it to say, that 

* Histoire des Martyrs, f. 7.57, 758. 


during the whole of this century the prisons of the 
inquisition in Italy, and particularly at Rome, were 
filled with victims, including persons of noble birth, 
male and female, men of letters and mechanics. 
Multitudes were condemned to penance, to the gal- 
leys, or other arbitrary punishments ; and from 
time to time individuals were put to death. Several 
of the prisoners were foreigners, who had visited 
the country in the course of business or of their 
travels. Englishmen were peculiarly obnoxious to 
this treatment.* In the year 1595 two persons 
were burnt alive in Rome, the one a native of Sile- 
sia and the other of England. The latter, having 
in a fit of zeal offered an indignity to the host when 
it was carrying in procession, had his hand cut off 
at the stake, and was then committed to the flames. 
The noblemau from whose letter this fact is taken 
adds in a postscript, that he had just heard that 

* Hist, des Martyrs, f. 758, a. I omitted to mention in the pro- 
per place, that Dr. Thomas Wilson, afterwards secretary to Queen 
Elizabeth, was among the prisoners who escaped in 1559, when the 
house of the inquisition was destroyed by the populace of Rome on 
the death of Paul IV 7 . He had been apprehended in the preceding 
year on account of some things contained in his books on Logic and 
Rhetoric. After giving an account of this, in a preface to a new 
edition of one of these works in 1560, he adds facetiously: "And 
now that. I am come home, this booke is shewed me, and I am de- 
sired to looke upon it and to amende it where I thought meete. 
Amende it ? quoth I. Nay ; let the book first amende itself, and 
make me amendes. For surely I have no cause to acknowledge it for 
my booke ; bpcause I have so smarted for it. If the sonne were the 
occasion of the father's imprisonment, would not the father be of- 
fended with him, think you?" &c. (Art of Rhetorike, Prologue, sig. 
A 5. Lond. 15S3.) 


some other Englishmen were thrown into the inqui- 
sition at Rome.* Notwithstanding all these severi- 
ties, persons secretly attached to the reformed doc- 
trines were to be found in that country during the 
seventeenth century ; and some of our own coun- 
trymen, who had been induced to expatriate them- 
selves out of zeal for popery, were converted to the 
protestant faith during their residence in Italy.f 

* Letter from John, earl of Gowrie, dated from Padua, the 
28th of November 1595, and printed in the appendix to Life of An- 
drew Melville, vol. ii. p. 525-6. 

t Mr. Evelyn, in his travels through Italy in 1646, met with a 
Scotsman, an officer of the army, at Milan, who treated him courte- 
ously, and who, together with an Irish friar, his confidant, concealed 
their protestantism from dread of the inquisition. (Evelyn's Me- 
moirs, vol. i. pp. 215 217.) 




An account of those exiles who left Italy from 
attachment to the protestant cause forms an im- 
portant branch of our undertaking. It is impor- 
tant, whether we take into view the testimony 
which was given to the authority of religious prin- 
ciple and the reformed faith, by the fact of so many 
persons quitting their homes and all that was dear 
to them in obedience to its dictates ; or the loss 
which their ungrateful and deluded country sus- 
tained by their emigration ; or the benefits which 
accrued to those countries which opened an asylum 
to the unfortunate strangers, and treated them with 
hospitality and fraternal regard. 

It was calculated that in the year 1550 the exiles 
amounted to two hundred, of whom a fourth or 
fifth part were men of letters, and these not of the 
meanest name.* Before the year 1559, the num- 
ber had increased to eight hundred, f From that 

" Vergerio, Lettere al Vescovo di Lesina : De Forta, ii. 36. 
+ Busdragi Epist. ut supra, p. 322. 


time to the year 1568, we have ground to believe 
that the increase was fully as great in proportion ; 
and down to the close of that century individuals 
were to be seen, after short intervals, flying to the 
north, and throwing themselves on the glaciers of 
the Alps to escape from the fires of the inquisition. 
The settlements which the Italian refugees made 
in the Grisons claim our first notice. With a few 
exceptions they all visited that country in the first 
instance, and a great part of them made it the 
place of their permanent abode. This was chiefly 
owing to its proximity to Italy, and its affording 
them the best opportunities of corresponding with 
the friends they had left behind them, or of grati- 
fying the hope, to which exiles long fondly cling, 
of revisiting their natal soil, as soon as such a 
change should occur as would render this step prac- 
ticable and safe. But in choosing this as a place of 
residence, they must also have been influenced by 
the consideration that the native tongue of the in- 
habitants in the southern dependencies of the Grison 
republic was Italian, while a language bearing a 
near affinity to it was spoken over the greater part 
of the republic itself. The affairs of the Italian 
settlers in the Grisons are so interwoven with the 
progress of the Reformation in that country, that 
the former cannot be understood without some ac-. 
count of the latter. I shall be the less scrupulous 
in entering into details on this subject, because it 
relates to a portion of the history of the reformed 
church which is comparatively little known among 


us ; for while the interesting fates of the Vaudois, 
who took refuge in the Valais and Piemont, have 
attracted the attention of ecclesiastical historians to 
the Cottian or western range of the Alps, the Rheti- 
an or eastern has been in a great measure overlooked. 
To the south-east of Switzerland, in the higher 
region of the Alps, where these gigantic mountains, 
covered with ice and clouds, are cleft into narrow 
valleys, and around the sources of the Rhine and 
Inn, lies the country of the ancient Rhetians and 
modern Grisons. Secluded from the rest of the 
world, and occupied in feeding their cattle on the 
mountains, and cultivating corn and the vine within 
their more fertile valleys, the inhabitants who came 
originally from Italy had preserved their ancient 
language and manners, with little variation, from a 
period considerably anterior to the Christian era. 
During the middle ages they fell under the dominion 
of the bishops of Coire, the abbots of Disentis, and a 
crowd of other chiefs, ecclesiastical and secular, who 
kept them in awe by means of innumerable castles, the 
ruins of which are still to be seen in all parts of the 
country. Worn out by the injuries which they suf- 
fered from these petty tyrants, and animated by the 
example which had been lately set them by their 
neighbours the Swiss, the miserable inhabitants, in 
the course of the fifteenth century, threw off the 
yoke of their oppressors one by one ; and, having 
established a popular government in their several 
districts, entered into a common league for the de- 
fence of their independence and rights. The Grison 


league or republic consisted of a union of three dis- 
tinct leagues, the Grey League, that of God's House, 
and that of the Ten Jurisdictions ; each of which 
was composed of a number of smaller communities, 
which retained the right of managing all its internal 
affairs, as well as of sending deputies to the general 
diet, whose powers were extremely circumscribed. 
In no nation, ancient or modern, have the princi- 
ples of democracy been carried to such extent as in 
the Grison republic ; and as the checks necessary to 
prevent its abuse were not provided by a rude peo- 
ple smarting under the recent effects of tyranny, its 
form of government, according to the confession of 
its own as well as foreign writers, not only created 
great dissensions, but led to gross corruption and 
bribery in election to offices and in the administra- 
tion of justice.* Toward the beginning of the six- 
teenth century, the Grison republic obtained a large 
accession to their territories by the possession of the 
Valteline, Chiavenna, and Bormio, fertile districts si- 
tuate between the Alps and the Milanese and Ve- 
netian territories. 

The corruptions which had overspread the catho- 
lic church before the Reformation were to be found 
in the Grisons with all the aggravations arising 
from the credulity of a rude people utterly ignorant 
of letters. The clergy lived openly in concubinage, 
figured at revels, rode about the country in complete 

De Porta, Hist. Ref. Eccl. Raet. torn. i. p. 15; ii.2G4. Zschokke, 
Des Schweizerlands Geschichte, pp. 275 279. Id. traduit par Mon- 
nard, pp. 222 224. Coxe's Travels in Switzerland, vol. iii. let. 85, 


armour, and claimed and enjoyed, under a republi- 
can government, a complete exemption from the 
laws, even when they were guilty of the most flag- 
rant crimes and outrages.* Bands of foreign priests, 
furnished with bulls from the pope, continually 
prowled about in search of vacant benefices ; and as 
they were ignorant of the language of the country, 
could do nothing but say mass in Latin. Preaching 
was unknown even among the native clergy for the 
most part, and when they did attempt it on the ap- 
pearance of the reformers among them, their per- 
formances were such as to excite at once ridicule 
and pity.f In many of the communities the people 
were as ignorant as brutes. Half a century after the 
light of the Reformation had penetrated into the 
Rhetian valleys, the government found it necessary 
to issue a decree that the Roman catholic priests 
should recite the Lord's prayer, apostles creed and 
ten commandments for the instruction of the peo- 

* In the eighteenth century this exemption continued to be enjoy- 
ed in the Valteline, not only by the clergy, but also by all who pur- 
chased permission from the Bishop of Como to wear a clerical dress. 
(Coxe's Travels in Switzerland, vol. iii. p. 130.) 

f Theodore Schlegel, abbot of St. Luke in the city of Coire, vicar 
of the diocese, and one of the acutest opponents of the Reforma- 
tion, in a sermon preached by him on Christmas 1525, told the peo- 
ple : " St. John was the most excellent of all the Evangelists on ac- 
count of his virginity, which enabled him to write in an elevated 
strain, and under divine inspiration concerning the Godhead. But, 
you will say, Peter returned a good answer to the question of the 
Lord, when he said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 
I answer, he spoke this ex exteriore cotyectura, computatione, he had 
acquired the knowledge of it from external things, when he saw him 


pie. There were however a few honourable excep- 
tions both among the clergy and laity. 

The inhabitants of the Grisons first caught their 
love of evangelical reform, as they had done their 
love of civil liberty, from the Swiss. A year had 
scarcely elapsed from the time that Zuingle embark- 
ed in the reform of the church of Zurich, when a 
schoolmaster at Coire, the capital of the league of 
God's House, became his correspondent, and inform- 
ed him that his name was known to many in that 
country, who approved of his doctrine, and were 
weary of the simony of the church of Rome.* 
He soon after received a letter to the same purpose 
from the Stadtvogt, or chief magistrate, of the town 
of Mayenfeld within the league of the Ten Jurisdic- 
tions. In the year 1524, the government of the 
Grisons imitated the example of the popish can- 
tons of Switzerland, who, as a means of checking 
the progress of innovation, had enacted laws for 
the reformation of the clergy. In a diet held at 
Ilantz, the capital of the Grey League, it was de- 
creed, among other articles, that parish priests should 
discharge their duty in instructing the people ac- 

walking on the sea and doing other wonders ; but he did not call him 
the Son of God from divine inspiration, as St. John did. As the in- 
carnation of Christ was brought about through the figures of the law, 
the promise of the Father and the writings of the prophets, so truly 
does he come into the hands of the priest in the bread in the service 
of the mass; and whoever denies the latter denies also the former." 
The writer who has reported this passage adds : " May we not apply 
to the preacher the adage, Among- co7vs an o.t is an abhvt ?" (C'o- 
tnander ad Zuinglium, an. 1526: De Forta, i. 48.) 
' De Forta, i. pp. 10 51. 


cording to the word of God ; and that, provid- 
ed they failed in this or were unfit for it, the pa- 
rishioners should have liberty to choose others in 
their room. These regulations were evaded by 
the clergy, but they were the means of fixing the 
attention of the people on a subject to which they 
had hitherto been indifferent, and produced unfore- 
seen consequences of the greatest importance. The 
first public reformation in the Grisons took place in 
the years 1524 and 1525, when the inhabitants of 
the valley of St. Anthony, of Flesch, and of Ma- 
lantz, in the high jurisdiction of Mayenfeld, 
though surrounded by powerful neighbours ad- 
dicted to popery, embraced with one consent the 
protestant doctrine and abolished the mass. * This 
produced so great an effect, that within a short 
time the new doctrine began to be preached by 
priests, and was eagerly listened to by the people, 
in various places throughout the three leagues. 
Among these preachers, the most distinguished 
were Andrew Sigfrid and Andrew Fabritz at Da- 
vos, the chief town in the league of the Ten Ju- 
risdictions ; and in the league of God's House, 
James Tutschet or Biveron, in Upper Engadi- 
na ; Philip Salutz or Gallitz, in Lower Enga- 
dina ; and John Dorfman or Comander, who, in 
consequence of the late regulations of the diet, had 
been chosen parson of St. Martin's church in the town 
of Coire.f The two last afterwards became col- 

* De Porta, i. 5768. 

t Ibid. pp. 58, 59, 7678. Ruchat, Hist, de la Reform, de la 
Suisse, torn. i. p. 273- 1. 


leagues at Coire, and they may with propriety be 
designed the joint reformers of the Grisons, having 
contributed beyond all others to the advancement of 
knowledge and religion in their native country. 
Comander was a man of learning, sound judgment, 
and warm piety. To these qualities Gallitz added 
great dexterity in the management of public busi- 
ness, an invincible command of temper, and uncom- 
mon eloquence both in his native tongue and in 
Latin.* The conversion of John Frick, parish priest 
of Mayenfeld, was brought about in a singular man- 
ner. Being a zealous catholic and of great note 
among his brethren, he had warmly resisted the 
new opinions when they first made their appear- 
ance. Filled with chagrin and alarm at the progress 
which he saw them making in his immediate 
neighbourhood, he repaired to Rome to implore the 
assistance of his holiness, and to consult on the best 
method of preventing his native country from being 
overrun with heresy. But he was so struck with 
the irreligion which he observed in the court of 
Rome, and the ignorance and vice prevailing in 
Italy, that, returning home, he joined the party 
which he had opposed, and became the reformer of 
Mayenfeld. In his old age he used to say to his 
friends pleasantly, that he learned the gospel at 

In the mean time the clergy, aroused from the 
slumbers into which they had sunk through indo- 

* De Porta, i. 67, 79; ii. 278. 

t Schelhorn, Amoen. Hist. Eccl. ii. 237; Ruchat, i. 27.5. 


lence and the absence of all opposition, had recourse 
to every means within their power in order to 
check the progress of the new opinions. Bonds of 
adherence to the catholic faith were exacted from 
the parish priests. The most odious and horrid re- 
presentations of the reformers and their tenets were 
circulated among the people. Individuals belonging 
to the anabaptists who had been banished from 
Switzerland came to the Grisons, and laboured to 
make proselvtes among the reformed by preaching 
up a purer and more elevated religion than that 
which was taught by Luther and Zuinglius, whom 
they put on a level with the pope. The popish 
clergy secretly encouraged these enthusiasts,* at 
the same time that they made use of their excesses 
to excite prejudice against the cause of the Reforma- 

Their leader, who went by the name of Blaurok, in allusion to 
the colour of his cloak, was an ex-monk of the Grisons, who had made 
a great noise in Switzerland. At Zurich he said, " he would under- 
take to prove that Zuinglius had offered greater violence to the scrip- 
tures than the Roman pontiff himself." (Acta Senat. Tigur. apud De 
Porta, ii. S6.) The following is an extract from one of his letters : 
" I am the door, he that entereth in by me shall find pasture; he that 
entereth by any other way is a thief and a robber. As it is written, 
' I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the 
sheep,' so I give my life and my spirit for my sheep, my body to the 
tower, my life to the sword, or the fire, or the wine-press to squeeze 
out the blood and flesh, as Christ gave his on the cross. I am the 
restorer of the baptism of Christ, and the bread of the Lord, I and 
my beloved brethren Conrad Grebel and Felix Manx. Therefore 
the pope, along with his followers, is a thief and a robber; and 
so also are Luther with his, and Zuinglius and Leo Juda, with their 
followers." (De Porta, ii. S9.) Blaurok and his associates were ba- 
nished from the Grisons in the year 152S. 


tion. * When the general diet of the republic met 
at Coire in the year 1525, the bishop and clergy 
presented a formal accusation against Comander and 
the other reforming preachers, praying that they 
might be punished by the secular arm for propagat- 
ing impious, scandalous, and seditious heresies, con- 
trary to the faith of the catholic church during fif- 
teen centuries, and tending to produce that rebel- 
lion and outrage which had lately been witnessed 
at Minister and other places. Comander having, in 
the name of his brethren, declared their readiness to 
vindicate the doctrine which they held against these 
criminations, a day was appointed for a conference 
or dispute between the two parties at Ilantz, in the 
presence of certain members of the diet.f The dis- 
pute which ensued added seven to the number of 
the reformed preachers, who were previously above 
forty ; while the articles which formed the subject 
of dispute having been printed and circulated 
throughout the valleys, multiplied their converts 
among the laity4 

In the mean time an event occurred which had 
well nigh proved fatal to the reformed party. Irri- 
tated by the assistance which the Orisons had given 
to Francis I., the emperor and duke of Milan en- 
couraged the turbulent John de Medicis, marquis 
of Muss, to attack their southern territories. Hav- 

* De Port3, pp. 8792. 

t Ruchat, i. 408410. De Porta, i. 96100. 

X Ruchat, i. 410 41G. De Porta, i. 102130. 


ing possessed himself of the castle and town of 
Chiavenna, he threatened to attack the Valteline. 
This obliged the republic to recall their troops from 
Italy before the famous battle of Pavia ; but having 
failed, after all, in recovering the castle, they had 
recourse to the mediation of the Swiss cantons. The 
deputies sent by the Swiss were keen Roman catholics, 
and asserted that they had it in charge from their 
constituents to obtain a pledge that heresy should 
not be permitted to spread in the Grisons, without 
which they could not co-operate in bringing the 
negotiations to a favourable issue. The marquis 
was ready to cover his ambitious project with the 
pretext of zeal for the church, and was besides un- 
der the influence of his brother, then an ecclesiastic 
in the Valteline, and afterwards raised to the ponti- 
fical chair under the designation of Pius IV. Avail- 
ing himself of these circumstances, the bishop of 
Coire prevailed on them to insert in the treaty an 
article, which provided for the maintenance of the an- 
cient religion and the punishment of all who refused 
conformity to it. An extraordinary diet was called 
to deliberate on this affair ; and so great was the in- 
fluence of the bishop and mediators, together with the 
anxiety of the nation to put an end to the war, that 
a majority of the diet voted for the article respect- 
ing religion. It was however warmly opposed by 
the representatives of several districts, including 
the city of Coire, which refused to affix its seal to 
the decree. The manner in which the decree was 
expressed seems to intimate that it partook of 


the nature of an understood compromise and tem- 
porary measure ; for while it provided that the 
mass, auricular confession, and other rites should 
be observed, it added that " along vith these the 
gospel and word of God should be preached ;" and 
in declaring that non-conformists should be sub- 
jected to an arbitrary punishment, the diet " reserv- 
ed to itself the liberty of altering its measures 
upon being better informed by disputations, coun- 
cils, or any other way."* The first effect of this 
law was the banishment of Gallitz, whose talents 
and success rendered him peculiarly obnoxious to 
the abettors of popery. Several of his brethren were 
also obliged to retire from the country to avoid the 
processes intended against them. But the city of 
Coire, in spite of their bishop, maintained Comander 
in his situation ; their example was followed in 
other places; and though the clergy endeavoured to 
push the advantage which they had gained, they 
found that a spirit was abroad in the nation too 
powerful for all their efforts, even when supported 
by legislative enactments. The subject was brought 
before the next national diet by the report of the 
commissioners appointed to attend the dispute at 
Ilantz ; and after consultation it was moved and 
agreed to, " That it shall be free to all persons of 
both sexes, and of whatever condition or rank, with- 
in the territories of the Grison confederation, to 
choose, embrace, and profess either the Roman ca- 

De Porta, i. 131134. 


tholic or the Evangelical religion ; and that no 
one shall, publicly or privately, harass another 
with reproaches or odious speeches on account of 
his religion, under an arbitrary penalty." To this 
was added a renovation of a former law, " that the 
ministers of religion should teach nothing to the 
people but what was contained in the scriptures of 
the Old and New Testament, and what they could 
prove by them ; and that parish priests should be 
enjoined to give themselves assiduously to the study 
of the scriptures as the only rule of faith and man- 

This remarkable statute, which, whatever infrac- 
tions it mayhave suffered, and whatever attempts may 
have been made to overthrow it, remains to this day 
the charter of religious liberty in the Grisons, was 
formally sealed and solemnly confirmed by the oaths 
of all the deputies at Ilantz on the 26th of June 1526, 
along with a number of other regulations of great im- 
portance. The power of appointing magistrates and 
judges was taken from the bishop of Coire and other 
ecclesiastics, and given to the people in their seve- 
ral communities. Where persons had bequeathed 
sums of money to churches and convents for offering 
anniversary masses and prayers for their souls, both 
they and their heirs were declared free from any obli- 
gation to make such payments for the future, "because 
no good ground could be shown for believing that this 

* Ruchat, i. 41 C. De Porta, i. 146. Anabaptists and those of 
other sects, if they retained and propagated their errors after due 
information and admonition, were subjected to banishment. 


was of any benefit to the deceased." It was de- 
creed that no new members, male or female, should 
henceforth be admitted into monasteries ; that the 
existing monks should be restrained from begging ; 
and that after appropriating a certain sum for 
their support during life, the remainder of the 
funds should be returned to the heirs of those who 
originally bestowed them, and failing them be dis- 
posed of as each league thought best. The power of 
choosing their respective ministers was given to 
parishes.* All appeals from secular courts to the 
jurisdiction of the bishop were strictly prohibit- 
ed ; annats and small titles were abolished, and the 
great tithes reduced to a fifth part.f 

It thus appears that a great deal more was done 
on this occasion by the authorities of the Grisons, 
than merely recognising and sanctioning religious 
liberty. A national reformation was introduced, 
which so far as it went must have been attended 
with the most beneficial consequences to the state, 
and to individuals whether popish or protestant. The 
grand principle of the protestant reformation was 
in fact recognised by the legislature, when it declar- 
ed the sacred scriptures to be the only rule of reli- 
gion. Some of the grossest abuses of popery, and 
those which draw many others after them, were abor 

* The words of this article are : " Ad hinc etiam penes singulas 
parochias esto suos pastores omni tempore eligendi, conducendi atque 
rursusquando lubitum fucrit, dimittendi." (De Porta, i. 150.) For- 
merly the bishop of Coire had the power of appointing and removing 
the parish-priests throughout the whole of his diocese. 

t De Porta, i. H8 151. Ruchat, i. 416, 417. 



lished. And the liberties of the Roman catholics 
were secured, not only against attacks from the pro- 
testants, but also against the more dangerous en- 
croachments and demands of their own clergy, and 
of a foreign priest who claimed dominion over both. 
It is impossible to read the document on which we 
are commenting without being convinced that there 
were at this period in the Grisons statesmen of enlight- 
ened minds and liberal principles. The historians 
of that country have gratefully preserved the names 
of the individuals by whom the deed was drawn up, 
and through whose influence chiefly it was adopted 
by the supreme council of the republic. Two of 
them were distinguished above the rest John Gul- 
er, whose name often occurs in the history of his 
country, and John Travers, neither of whom had at 
that time joined the reformers. The latter, who be- 
longed to a noble and ancient family of Zutz in Upper 
Engadina, had received his education at Munich, and 
improved his mind by travelling in different parts of 
Europe. His abilities and learning, adorned by the 
most unimpeachable integrity, secured the confidence 
of his countrymen, who intrusted him with the high- 
est offices of the state and the management of their 
most delicate affairs. He was equally distinguished 
as a soldier and a scholar, a politician and a di- 
vine. The first book ever composed in the Gris- 
on language came from his pen,* being a poem on 
the war against the marquis of Muss, in which he 

It docs not appear that this work was printed. 


had himself commanded the forces of his country. 
The late period at which he renounced the commu- 
nion of the church of Rome was beneficial to the 
reformed cause, as his colleagues in the senate, and 
his countrymen at large, entertained on that account 
the less jealousy of the measures which he proposed 
in favour of religious liberty. After adjoining him- 
self to the reformed church, he promoted its inter- 
ests with the utmost zeal. As the protestant mini- 
ster settled in his native city was a young man, and 
met with great opposition from the principal fa- 
milies of the place, Travers asked and readily ob- 
tained from the ministers permission to act as assists 
ant to him. The whole country was struck with as- 
tonishment to see a man of such rank, and so renown- 
ed for his services in the senate, the field, and foreign 
courts, mount the pulpit. The Roman catholics 
tried to conceal the chagrin and alarm which they 
felt by circulating the report that he was mad or 
in dotage; but his performances soon put to silence 
these invidious and artful allegations.* 

The publication of the edict in favour of religi* 
ous liberty was followed by the rapid spread of the 
new opinions. The formation of churches was how- 

* De Porta, i. 229, 233 241. Coxe's Travels in Switzerland, iii, 
295 298. A fine letter which Gallitz addressed to him on his appli* 
cation for liberty to preach, has been preserved. "O felicem terrain 
qua? tales nanciscitur doctores et magistros ! Sed quae mcdestia est 
ista explodenda, imo quod facinus hoc, quod permittis tibi, petere a 
nobis auctoritatem, quum fecerit opus concionandi ? Tu, inquam, qui 
Rhretire nostra; primoribus auctor fuisti, vcniam nobis conccdendi ut 
pradiccmus evangclium," ike. 


ever slower. This proceeded partly from the plan 
pursued by the first reformers, who, to use their own 
expression, " sought to remove idols from the hearts 
of the people before they removed them from the 
churches ;" and partly from the democratical nature 
of the government, which required the unanimous 
or at least general concurrence of each community 
previously to any change on the public worship. 
In the year 1527, the mass was abolished, images 
removed, and the sacrament of the supper celebrated 
after the reformed mode, in St. Martin's church at 
Coire, under the direction of Comander. The same 
thing was done at Lavin in Lower Engadina, un- 
der the direction of Gallitz ; at Davos in the Ten 
Jurisdictions, under the direction of Andrew Fa- 
britz ; and at Ilantz in the Grey League, under the 
direction of Christian Hartman. And the example 
set by these places was soon imitated by others. 
The reformed religion was embraced earliest in the 
league of the Ten Jurisdictions, where it soon be- 
came almost universal. Within the league of God's 
House it prevailed generally in the neighbourhood 
of Coire, but it made little progress in Engadina and 
other places to the south until 1542, when the Ita- 
lian exiles arrived. In the High or Grey League 
the number of its adherents was smaller.* 

The reformed doctrine spread rapidly in the Gri- 
sons during the six years which succeeded immedi- 
ately to the declaration of religious liberty; and had 

Dc Torta, i. cap. S. Ruchat, i. 27 1, 117-8. Coxe, iii. 250253. 


it continued to advance as it began, the ancient re- 
ligion must soon have disappeared before it. Vari- 
ous causes contributed to arrest its progress. One 
of these is to be found in the languages of the coun- 
try. The Rhetian, Italian, and German languages 
were all spoken in the Grisons, and the inhabitants 
of two adjacent valleys were often incapable of un- 
derstanding one another. This of itself must have 
proved a great hindrance to the communication of 
knowledge at a time when the number of teachers 
was small. But this was not all. The Rhetian or 
Grison tongue is divided into two dialects, the Ro- 
mansh and the Ladin, and there was not a single 
book in either of them at the time of the Reforma- 
tion. Nobody had ever seen a word written in that 
tongue, and it was the common opinion that it 
could not be committed to writing.* There can be 
little doubt that the rapid and extensive spread of 
the reformed doctrine among the inhabitants of the 
Ten Jurisdictions was owing in a great degree to 
their speaking the German tongue, and consequently 
having access to the scriptures and other books in 
their native language. The same remark applies to 

De Porta, i. 19 ; ii. 403. Coxe, iii. 294. In addition to a collec- 
tion of words and phrases in Romansh, Ebel has inserted a dissertation 
on the history of that language, (which he calls "la langue Hetrus- 
co-Rhe'tienne,") by Placidus a Specha, capitular of Disentis. From 
this it would appear that a number of old MSS. written in that lan- 
guage during the middle ages were preserved, the greater part of 
which, however, were destroyed when the French burnt the monas- 
tery of Disentis in 1799. (Manuel du Voyageur en Suisse, torn. i. 
pp. 318 337.) 


the citizens of Coire and of some other places. Those 
who knew only the original language of the country, 
were long; confined to oral instruction. The reformed 
ministers laboured assiduously in supplying this de- 
fect, and they at last practically demonstrated the fal- 
lacy of an ignorant prejudice which the priests had 
eagerly cherished in the minds of the people. In this 
respect their country is under unspeakable obligations 
to them. Other nations owe their literature to the 
Reformation ; the Grisons are indebted to it for 
their alphabet. But a number of years elapsed be- 
fore the preachers, occupied with other labours 
and straitened in their finances, could bring their 
writings from the press, and by that time the de- 
sire for knowledge which the first promulgation 
of the reformed doctrines had excited must have 
been in some degree worn off from the minds of 
the people. A translation of Comander's German 
catechism into the Ladin by James Tutchet or Bi- 
veroni, printed at Puschiavo in the year 1552, was 
the first work which had appeared in the Rhetian 
language. " At the sight of this work," says a his- 
torian then alive, " the Grisons stood amazed, like 
the Israelites of old at the sight of the manna." Bive- 
roni printed, in 1560, his translation of the New 
Testament into the same language, which was fol- 
lowed in 1562 by a metrical version of the Psalms, 
and a collection of hymns, composed by Ulrich Cam- 

* De Porta, ii. 404 407. The Bible was published in the Ladin of 
Lower Engadina, for the first time, in 1679; and in the Romansh 
of the Grey League bo late as 1718. (Coxe, iii. 301304.) 


Another cause was the poverty of the pastors, 
which inflicted a lasting injury on the reformed 
church.* "While the popish priests possessed for 
the most part the tythes, beside what they gained 
by private masses and confessions, the protestant 
ministers received a small stipend from their congre- 
gations, and in many cases were reduced to the ne- 
cessity of supporting themselves by manual labour. 
Gallitz, a man of liberal education, states, in one of 
his familiar letters, that he and his family had been 
for two years in great straits, were obliged to sleep 
during the night in the clothes which they wore 
through the day, seldom tasted flesh, were often 
without bread, and for weeks together lived solely 
on vegetables seasoned with salt. Yet he trained his 
son for the church ; and when the young man had an 
advantageous offer made him during his attendance 
at the academy of Basle, his father declared it would 
be impiety in him to accept it when there were so few 
capable of preaching to his countrymen in their na- 
tive language.f But it was not to be expected that 
the first reformers would be succeeded by per- 
sons of the same nobility of mind. The con- 
sequence was, that the people in many parts 
of the country remained destitute of pastors, or 

* In Travellers Guides through the Grisons it is to this day a 
common direction, " If the town to which you come be catholic, call 
for the cure of the parish, who will entertain you hospitably ; if it 
be protestant, you may ask for the pastor, who will direct you to the 
best inn, for the salaries of the pastors are so sorry, and their houses 
so bad, that, however willing, they cannot show hospitality." 

f De Porta, i. 181, 186, 187. 


were induced to receive illiterate persons of low 
character, who disgraced their office by their mean- 
ness or their vices. " Assuredly," says the excel- 
lent man last mentioned, " covetous persons are 
most cruel to themselves, while they choose rather 
to be without good pastors than to be at the expense 
of maintaining them. O the ingratitude of men, 
who a little ago cheerfully gave a hundred crowns 
for teaching lies, and now grudge to give twenty 
for preaching the truth !" * Another radical defect 
of the Grison reformation consisted in neglecting 
entirely to provide the means of education for youth. 
This the reformed ministers exerted themselves to 
remedy, and they succeeded at last, not only in pro- 
viding parochial teachers for the chief towns, but 
in persuading the legislature to appropriate the re- 
siduary funds of such of the monasteries as were 
suppressed to the establishment of a national semi- 
nary at Coire. f These evils arose from or were ag- 
gravated by the political state of the country. Proud 
of their liberty, the Grisons were weakly jealous of 
those common measures which were in fact neces- 
sary to preserve it ; while they roamed about their 
valleys without control they forgot that savages 
are free; and pleased to hear their mountains re-echo 
the votes which they gave at the election of a mu- 
nicipal landammarii or of a deputy to the diet, they 

* Gallicius ad Bullingerum, 6 Mart. 1553: De Porta, i. 180. 

t This academy was opened in the year 1542; the individual first 
placed at the head of it was John Pontisella, a native of Pregalia, for 
whom Bullinger, at the request of the Grison reformers, had obtained 
a gratuitous education at Zurich. (Ibid. i. 187, 192 197.) 


did not perceive that their voices were in reality at 
the command of a few men of superior intelligence, 
many of whom had sold themselves, and would sell 
them to the highest bidder. Foreign princes had their 
constant pensioners in the Grisons ; the chief states- 
men were secretly in the interest either of the emperor 
or of the king of F ranee ; and between the two fac- 
tions the country was at once distracted, corrupted, 
and betrayed. Next to his labours in reforming re- 
ligion, Zuingle is entitled to immortal praise for de- 
nouncing, at the expense of incurring the odium of 
his countrymen, the practice of hiring themselves out 
as mercenaries to fight the battles of foreign princes. 
The Orison reformers imitated his example and they 
met his reward : their countrymen, imagining that 
they were hirelings like themselves, punished them 
by reducing their stipends. * 

The churches in the Grisons were organized in 
the same manner as those in the protestant cantons 
of Switzerland, as to government as well as doc- 
trine and worship. From the beginning congre- 
gations had their consistories. To these were add- 
ed, probably at a later period, colloquies or presby- 

* In answer to a letter from Bullinger, (Feb. 18, 1544,) dissuading 
him from leaving his station at Coire, Comander writes: " Another rea- 
son is, that six years ago, when I opposed myself to the worthless pen- 
sioners in a sermon, as I was in duty bound to do, I excited their rage 
against me, and they took away thirty-three florins from my benefice, 
which was before sufficiently small. Hitherto I have digested this 
injury, and have supplied the deficiency from my own and my wife's 
fortune; but if I continue to do this much longer, my children must 
be reduced to beggary after my death." (De Porta, i. 183; conf. 
p. 256.) 


teries, of which there were two in each league. The 
pastors were accustomed to meet together occasion- 
ally for consultation about the common interests of 
the reformed body, for examining and ordaining can- 
didates for the ministry, and for rectifying the disor- 
ders which occurred. But these meetings were vo- 
luntary, and their determinations were given out in 
the form of advices. The report having gone 
abroad that a great scarcity of preachers was felt 
in the Grisons, numbers flocked into the country 
from Switzerland and Germany, pretending to be 
preachers, although they were both illiterate and of 
disreputable character. Repairing to the valleys, 
they insinuated themselves into the affections of 
the country people, and having clandestinely con- 
cluded a bargain with them to serve their churches 
for a small sum of money, behaved in such a man- 
ner as to open the mouths of the Roman catholics, 
and bring great discredit on the evangelical cause. 
To remedy this evil the ministers applied to the 
diet of the republic for their sanction to the holding 
of a national synod, which should have power to 
call to account those who had come from foreign 
parts, inquire into their qualifications and exact 
from them certificates of character, to examine all 
who should afterwards be admitted to the ministry, 
watch over their conduct, censure the disorderly, 
and in general to preserve the order and promote 
the edification of the whole reformed body. This 
petition was granted by the diet on the 14th of 
January 1537, and from that time the synod was 


held regularly every year in the month of June, 
when the passage across the mountains was easiest.* 

Such was the state of the reformed churches in the 
Grisons, when the exiles from Italy first made their 
appearance in that country. The encouragement 
presented to them, in a worldly point of view, was 
certainly not flattering. But they had come seeking 
a refuge, not a fortune. They had left a land flowing 
with milk and honey ; what they wanted was a land 
of religious liberty, and in which there was not a fa- 
mine of hearing the word of God. They were re- 
ceived in a very different manner from the vagrants 
formerly mentioned. The tale of their distress had 
arrived before them, and their sufferings were held 
to be sufficient testimonials. 

Their first arrival in the country produced an im- 
pression highly favourable to the interests of the 
Reformation. The very sight of so many persons, 
many of them illustrious for birth, learning, and 
rank, civil and ecclesiastical, who had voluntarily 
renounced their honours and estates, left their 
dearest friends,f and encountered poverty with all 

" De Porta, i. 188192. 

f Julio de Milano, writing to Bullinger, from Tirano in the Val- 
teline, 23d June 1352, says: "The circumstances of the person 
who will deliver you this letter arc as follows. God has permitted 
his two sons to be thrown into prison for confessing Christ, and they 
will soon either suffer martyrdom or be condemned for life to the gal- 
leys. They have wives and thirteen children, the eldest of whom, 
who may be about thirteen years of age, accompanies the unfortunate 
old man. Do something to prevent this family from perishing with 
want." (Ibid. ii. H5.) 


the other hardships attendant on exile, rather than 
do violence to their consciences, while it esta- 
blished the protestants in the doctrine which they 
had embraced, struck the minds of their adver- 
saries with amazement, and forced on the most 
reluctant the suspicion that such sacrifices could 
not have been made for no reason. No sooner did 
the exiles find themselves safe than they detailed the 
cruelties of the inquisition, and laid open the arts 
of the court of Rome, with the ignorance, supersti- 
tion, and vice which reigned in it. They dwelt with 
enthusiasm on the liberty of conscience and the pure 
preaching of the gospel enjoyed in the Grisons. 
They grudged no labour in communicating instruc- 
tion privately and publiclv wherever an opportunity 
offered, by which means they gained many souls 
to Christ, especially among those who spoke Italian. 
Some of them made themselves masters of the lan- 
guage of the country, so as to be able within a short 
time to preach to the inhabitants. They made at- 
tempts, and often successfully, to preach in parts of 
the country from which the native ministers deem- 
ed it prudent to abstain ; and in every place in which 
they remained for any time, new churches were sure 
to spring up.* 

Bartolommeo Maturo arrived in the Grisons at a 
much earlier period than any of his countrymen. 
He had been prior of a Dominican convent at Cre- 
mona, and being disgusted at the lives of the monks 
and the fictitious miracles by which they deluded 

* De Porta, ii. 36, 37. 


the people, he threw off the cowl and left Italy. 
Having preached the reformed doctrines in the Val- 
teline he was accused to the diet which met at Ilantz 
in 1529, and had sentence of banishment passed 
against him. But he was taken under the protection 
of one of the deputies, and conducted to Pregalia, 
where he commenced preaching with success. From 
that place he went into the neighbouring district of 
Engadina, where Gallitz had hitherto gained very 
little ground on account of the determined hostility 
of the most powerful inhabitants. The first appear- 
ance of Maturo threatened a tumult, but he perse- 
vered, and the matter being referred to the suffrages 
of the community, he obtained a majority in his fa- 
vour, and preached openly before the eyes of those 
who in the late diet had voted for his banishment.* 
Returning to Pregalia, he undertook the pastoral 
charge of Vico Soprano and Stampa, where he con- 
tinued until 1547, and died a pastor in the valley of 

Soon after Maturo's removal, Vico Soprano ob- 
tained for its pastor the celebrated Vergerio. It is true 
the bishop did not distinguish himself by observing 
the law of residence, having frequently visited the 
Valteline, beside the journeys which he undertook 
into Switzerland and Germany, during the period in 
which he held this cure. I Some allowance must how- 

Ruchat, ii. 458, 459. + De Porta, i. 158; ii. 14, 2730. 

X De Porta says that at this time Vergerio drew the yearly stipend 
of 150 crowns, as ordinary pastor of Vico Soprano, (ii. 46.) 


ever be made for the habits of a man who had been 
accustomed all his life to a change of scene and em- 
ployments. Besides, he was never idle ; and con- 
sidering the state of the country at that time, 
he perhaps did more good by his preaching ex-t 
cursions than he could have done by confining him- 
self to a parish. The stateliness of his figure, his 
eloquence, and the rank which he had lately held 
in the papal church, conspired in fixing the eyes of 
the public upon him ; and persons of all classes were 
anxious to see and hear a man who had repeatedly 
sustained the office of ambassador from the court of 
Rome, was supposed to be acquainted with all its se- 
crets, and was not scrupulous about divulging what 
he knew. In returning from one of his visits to the 
Valteline he lodged a night at Pontresina, a town si- 
tuate on the northern base of mount Bernino. It 
happened that the parish priest had died that day, 
and the inhabitants assembled in the evening at the 
inn to converse with the landlord, who was judge of 
the village, about choosing a successor. After 
engaging their attention by conversing on the sub- 
ject which had called them together, Vergerio ask- 
ed them if they would not hear a sermon from him. 
The greater part objecting to this, " Come," said 
the judge, " let us hear what this new-come Ita- 
lian will say." So highly gratified were the people 
with his sermon, that they insisted on his preaching 
to them again before his departure. Accordingly 
he did preach next day to a crowded audience on the 
merits of Christ's death and justification, with such 


effect that the inhabitants soon after agreed harmo- 
niously in abolishing the mass and giving a call to a 
protestant minister. Having preached, during one 
of his short excursions, in the town of Casauccia, 
at the foot of mount Maloggia, all the images in 
the church of St. Gaudentius were thrown down 
during the following night ; and the same thing 
happened after a visit which he paid to Samada. 
An accusation was brought against him for instigat- 
ing these disorderly practices, but he was acquit- 
ted.* His countrymen were no less diligent in plant- 
ing and watering churches in that part of the coun- 
try. In general, it appears that the greater part of 
the important districts of Upper and Lower Enga- 
dina, and the whole of Pregalia, a district lying on 
the southern declivity of the Alps, were reformed by 
means of the Italian refugees. This took place be- 
tween 1542 and 1552, and from that time the pro- 
testants became decidedly the majority, compre- 
hending the greater part of the population as well 
as the wealth of the republic, f 

* De Porta, i. 231, 232 ; ii. 46, 47. 

f Castanet was reformed by Jeronimo Ferlino, a Sicilian, who was 
succeeded as pastor by Agostino, a Venetian, Giovanni Batista, a na- 
tive of Vicenza, &c. Jeronimo Turriano of Cremona was the first 
minister of Bondo, which enjoyed a succession of Italian ministers. 
Bevers was reformed by Pietro Parisotti of Bergamo ; and Siglio by 
Giovanni Francesco, who had for successor Antonio Cortesio of Brcs- 
jcia. Bartolommeo Sylvio of Cremona was pastor at Pontresina; and Leo- 
nardo Eremita and a number of his countrymen were successively pas- 
tors in Casauccia. Vettan was reformed by an Italian named F.vandro, 
who was succeeded by Francesco Calabro. (Ibid. i. 226, 232, 233 ; ii. 


But the principal scene of the labours of the refu- 
gees was in the provinces subject to the republic, and 
situate between the Alps and Italy. These consisted 
of the Valteline, a rich, beautiful, and populous val- 
ley, fifty miles long and from twelve to fifteen 
broad ; the county of Chiavenna, which forms the 
point of communication for the trade between Italy 
and Germany ; and the county of Bormio. To these 
may be added the valley of Puschiavo, a jurisdiction 
or community within the republic, and lying to the 
north of the Valteline, In all these districts the 
language spoken by the inhabitants was Italian. 
From the time that the new opinions began to pre- 
vail in the Grisons, the attention of the court of Rome 
was directed to this quarter, and precautionary 
measures were adopted to prevent them from spread- 
ing into Italy. As early as 1523, the bishop of Co- 
mo sent a friar named Modesta into the Valteline to 
make inquisition after heretics, but the inhabitants 
were so incensed at the extortion of which he was 
guilty that they forced him to depart, and a decree 
was passed that no inquisitor should afterwards be 
allowed to enter that territory. The reformed opin- 
ions were brought across the Alps by inhabitants 
of the Grisons who came to reside in the Valteline 
for the purpose of trade, or on account of the mild- 
ness of the climate ; and subsequently to the decla- 
ration of religious liberty by the diet, it was na- 
tural for them to think that they had a right to pro- 
fess in the subject states that religion which had 
been authorized within the bounds of the governing 


country.* The increase of their numbers, particular- 
ly at Chiavenna, where they were joined by some of 
the principal families, alarmed the priests. They 
durst not attack the persons or property of the ob- 
jects of their hatred, for fear of being called to ac- 
count by the public authorities, but every thing short 
of force was employed to intimidate and distress 
them. The minds of the people were inflamed by the 
most violent invectives against the Lutheran heresies 
from the pulpit ; and recourse was had to arts of a 
still worse description. A simple maid was decoyed 
into the belief that the Virgin Mary had appeared 
to her and given her a charge to acquaint the in- 
habitants of Chiavenna, that heaven, provoked by 
the encouragement given to heresy, was about to 
visit the place with an awful calamity, unless 
the heretics were speedily exterminated. Proces- 
sions, accompanied with fasting and prayers, were 
immediately proclaimed and observed with great 
solemnity in the town and surrounding villages, 
and every thing tended to some violent explo- 
sion of popular hatred against the protestants. But, 
in consequence of a judicial investigation, it was 
found that the whole affair had originated in the 
wicked device of a parish priest to gratify his lust, 
at the same time that he testified his zeal for the 
catholic faith, f The detection of this imposture, 
under a governor who was unsuspected of any lean- 
ing to the new opinions, together with the subse- 
quent conviction of some other priests of notorious 

* De Porta, ii. I. t \b. ii. 1520. 



crimes, silenced the clergy, and contributed to check 
the delusions under which the minds of the people 
had fallen.* 

The greater part of the learned Italians who fled 
to the Valteline between 1540 and 1543, after re- 
freshing themselves from the fatigues of their jour- 
ney, crossed the Alps. But a considerable number 
of them were induced to remain by the pleasantness 
of the country, the importunity of some of the prin- 
cipal inhabitants who were anxious to have the 
benefit of their private instructions, and the pros- 
pect which they had of being useful among a peo- 
ple who were entirely destitute of the means of 
religious knowledge. Among these was Agostino 
Mainardi, a Piemontese, and an Augustinian monk. 
Having been thrown into prison in the town of 
Asti for maintaining certain propositions contrary 
to the received faith, he was liberated upon the 
explications which he gave, and went to Italy. 
At Pa via and other places he acquired great repu- 
tation by his preaching and disputing in behalf of 
the truth ; and after escaping repeatedly the snares 
laid for his life, was obliged at last to betake him- 
self to flight. His learning, mildness, and prudence 
qualified him for the difficult situation in which he 
was now placed, f Julio da Milano, a secular priest, 
and doctor of theology, who had escaped from the 
imprisonment into which he had been thrown at Ve- 

" De Porta, ii. 20, 21. 

t Raynaldi Annates ad an. 1535. Celio Secundo Curio, De am- 
plitudine regni Dei, p. 15. Museum Helvet. apud Gerdesii Ital. Re- 
form, p. 300. Schelhom, Ergotz. torn. ii. p. 16. 


nice,* proved a zealous and able coadjutor to Main- 
ardi. They were joined by Camillo, a native of 
Sicily, who, on embracing the protestant doctrine, 
took the name of Renato ; and by Francesco Negri of 
Bassano, who is known as the author of several books 
against the church of Rome which had an extensive 
circulation at the time of their publication.! The 

* Following Gerdes, (Italia Ref. pp. 279, 280,) I have confounded 
this person with Julio Terenziano. (See before, pp. 191, 197.) They 
were different individuals. Fueslin has published a letter from Ju- 
lius Terenlianus, and another from Julius Mcdiolariensis.. (Epistolas 
Ref. pp. 304, 353.) The former, according to Simler, continued with 
Martyr from the time he left Italy till his death. (Vita Martyris, 
sig. b iiij.) He was with him in England in 1548 r,nd 1553, retired 
with him to Strasburg in the end of that year, and was still with 
him in 1558 at Zurich. (Serin. Antiq. torn. iv. pp. 6G4, 667, 674. 
Fueslin, pp. 313, 318.) But Julius Mediolanensis was in the neigh- 
bourhood of Chiavenna during all that period. (Fueslin, p. 359. De 
Porta, ii. 30, 40.) Argelati, in his Bibl. Script. Medici., as quoted by 
Tiraboschi, (Storia, vii. p. 383,) says that some sermons by " Giulio 
Terenziano da Milano" were printed at Venice ; but I suspect that 
these learned writers have mistaken the real author, and that the ser- 
mons, as well as the work vhich appeared under the concealed name 
of Girolamo Savonese, were the production, not of Giulio Terenziano, 
but of Giulio da Milano. 

+ Bock, Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. p. 482. Beside the work formerly 
mentioned, (p. 276,) Negri was the author of Tragedia di libe?-o ar- 
bitrio, which Fontanini characterizes as " empia c diabolica," and 
from which Schelhorn has gi\ en extracts. (Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. ii. 
pp. 29 31.) Verci has given an account of his writings; and the do- 
cuments which he has produced refute the opinion of Quadrio and 
others, that Negri was a native of Lovero in the Valteline. (Scrittori 
Bassan. i. 60: Tiraboschi, vii. 383.) " Antonius Nigrus, medicus," 
is mentioned, as having come from Italy, by Melanchthon. (Epist. 
col. 719.) And " Theobaldus Nigrus" is spoken of, as at Strasburg 
in 1551, by Martyr. (Loc. Commun. p. 763.) 


two last were not preachers, as has been erroneous- 
ly stated by some writers,* but confined themselves 
to the teaching of youth. Camillo had under his 
charge the sons of several of the principal gentry, 
and took up his residence at Caspan in the Valteline, 
while Negri fixed his abode at Chiavenna.f To them 
may be added Francesco Stancari, a native of Man- 
tua, who remained some time in the Valteline, and 
commenced teaching the Hebrew language, of which, 
before he left his native country, he had been pro- 
fessor at Terra di Spilimbergo, in the province of 


Among the distinguished citizens of the Grisons 
who resided in Chiavenna was Hercules a Salice or 
de Salis, the descendant of a noble family, who had 
already gained great reputation as a soldier, and af- 
terwards rose to the first employments in the repub- 
lic. He entertained Mainardi, who pleased him and 
the friends who frequented his house so highly, that 
they determined to have the obstacles which stood 
in the way of his remaining with them removed. 
The zealous Roman catholics insisted that it was a 
fundamental law of the democracy, that no religious 
service could be set up or observed in any commu- 
nity, town ir village, without the formal permission 
of the majority of the inhabitants. The protectants 

* Fuesliu, Epist. Ref. p. 254. Gerdesii Italia Kef. p. 307. 
t De Porta, i. 197 ; ii. 45. 

* Ibid. p. 1^7. Tirabosehi, vii. 10S7. 


pleaded the liberty which had been granted to use the 
reformed worship within the republic. De Salis 
brought the affair before the national diet held at 
Davos in the year 1544, which determined that it 
should be lawful to such as embraced the evangeli- 
cal religion in the Yalteline, Chiavenna, and other 
places within the dominions of the Grisons, to enter- 
tain and keep privately teachers and schoolmasters 
for the spiritual instruction of their families ; and 
that those who had fled from their native country 
on account of that religion should be permitted to 
settle in any part of the Grison territory, upon sub- 
scribing the received protestant confession and giv- 
ing such other securities as the laws required. * In 
consequence of this law, Mainardi was established 
as pastor of the flock which had already been ga- 
thered by his private instructions at Chiavenna. To 
this congregation De Salis gave his chapel, called 
Santa Maria del Paterino, together with a house, 
garden and salary to the minister. It increased 
rapidly, and great care was afterwards taken to pro- 
vide Chiavenna with learned pastors.f 

About the same time, Julio da Milano, after 
preaching with great success in Lower Engadina, 
founded a congregation at Puschiavo which enjoyed 

* De Porta, ii. 37, 38. 

+ .Mainardi was succeeded by the celebrated Jeronimo Zanchi, who 
had Simone Florillo, a Neapolitan, for his colleague ; after whom 
Scipione Lentulo of Naples, and Ottaviano Meio of Lucca, successive- 
ly occupied this important post. (Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. p. 376. De 
Porta, ii. 40 .54.) 


his ministry for nearly thirty years, and con- 
tinned long to be one of the most flourishing 
churches in the republic. Julio also laid the foun- 
dation of a number of churches in his neighbour- 
hood. * About the time of his death, which hap- 
pened soon after 1571, an able successor was provid- 
ed for him by the opportune arrival of Cesare Gaf- 
fori, a native of Piacenza, who had been guardian 
of the Franciscans, f The first printing press in 
the Grisons was erected in the town of Puschiavo 
by Rodolfino Landolfo, the descendant of a noble 
family in that place, who expended a large sum on 
the undertaking. It contributed greatly to the illu- 
mination of the country, but was very annoying to 
the Roman catholics ; and in 1561 the pope and 
king of Spain made a demand for its suppression 
as a nuisance, with which however the diet did not 
think proper to comply4 

The church of Caspan was the first fruits of the 
Valteline, having, so early as the year 1546, met 
for worship in a house provided by the Paravi- 

* Brusio, Ponteilla, Prada, Meschin, and Piuri or Plurs were all in 
a short time provided with pastors from among the Italian refugees. 
(Schelhorn, Dissert, de Mino Celso Senensi, pp. 34, 46. De Porta, 
torn. ii. part. ii. p. 179.) The village of Plurs was overwhelmed in 
the year 1618 by the falling of mount Conto, on which occasion all 
the inhabitants, to the number of more than 2000, were buried in the 
ruins, with the exception of three individuals, who happened at the 
time to be in the fields. (Ebel, Manuel du Voyageur en Suisse, torn, 
ii. pp. 390, 391.) 

t De Porta, ii. 40, 41. 

t Ebel, torn. iv. p. 53. 


cini, one of the most honourable families in that 
country. It was, however, nearly ruined by the 
imprudence of an individual belonging to the fa- 
mily to which it owed its erection. A crucifix 
having been found broken in one of the churches, 
the clergy directed the suspicions of the inflamed 
populace against the protestant minister, who, on 
being arraigned and put to the rack, was made to 
confess that he had committed the sacrilegious deed. 
On being liberated from confinement he repaired to 
Coire, and protesting that the extremity of the tor- 
ture had wrung from him the confession of a crime 
in which he had no participation, demanded a fair 
trial. On examination it was found that the out- 
rage on the crucifix had been committed by Barto- 
lommeo Paravicino, a boy of thirteen, on the night 
before he set out for the university at Zurich. 
But though the innocence of the minister was clear- 
ed, so strong were the prejudices of the Roman 
catholics, that it was not judged prudent to permit 
him to return to Caspan, and his congregation was 
directed to choose another pastor in his room. * 
Teglio, the chief town of the most populous district 
in the Valteline, obtained for its pastor the pious 
and learned Paolo Gaddio, a native of the Cre- 
monese, who, after visiting Geneva, had acted as 
a temporary assistant to the venerable pastor of 
Puschiavo. f Sondrio, which was the seat of the 

* De Porta, ii. 4144. 

+ Fueslin, p. 359. Zanchii Opera, torn. vii. p. 4. 


government, enjoyed for some time the labours of 
Scipione Lentulo, a learned Neapolitan, who had 
devoted himself to the service of the Waldensian 
churches in the valleys of Lucerna and Angrogna, 
and been exposed to the severe persecution which 
they suffered in 1560 and 1561 from Emanuel Phi- 
libert, duke of Savoy. * His talents and learning 
were of the greatest utility to the reformed cause 
during his residence at Sondrio, and afterwards at 
Chiavenna. f Churches were also erected in a 
number of other places in the Valteline ; ^ and they 
spread subsequently into the county of Bormio. 
Upon the whole, the number of protestant churches 
to the south of the Alps appears to have exceeded 
twenty, which were all served, and continued till 
the end of the sixteenth century to be for the most 
part served, by exiles from Italy. 

I have brought into one view what concerns the 
formation of Italian churches in this part of the 
country; but it was after a considerable interval, and 
the most violent opposition, that permission was ob- 
tained to erect the greater part of them. No soon- 
er did the priests perceive the success of the re- 

* Leger has inserted an account of the deliverance of the Waldenses, 
in a letter from Lentulus to an illustrious person at Geneva. (Hist, 
des Eglises Vaudoises, torn. ii. pp. 34 36.) 

t Gerdesii Ital. Ref. pp. 28128*. De Porta, ii. 335, 495500. 

J Those of Tirano, Rovoledo, Mellio, Morbegno, and Dubino, are 
particularly mentioned. 

Coxe, iii. 102. De Porta, ii. 286, 287. 


formed doctrine at Chiavenna and Caspan, than 
thev began to exclaim against the edict of 1544. 
Not being able, with any decency, to object to the 
first part of it, they directed their invectives against 
the liberty which it granted to the Italian exiles to 
settle among them, exclaiming that it was disgrace- 
ful to the republic of the Grisons to give entertain- 
ment to banditti, (as they called them,) whom 
other Christian princes and states had expelled 
from their dominions. The popular mind was still 
farther inflamed by a crowd of monks who came 
from the Milanese, and especially by Capuchins 
sent by the bishop of Como, who in the fanatical 
harangues which they delivered during the time of 
Lent did all but exhort the people to rebel against 
their rulers. Failing in their applications to the 
diet for a repeal of the obnoxious edict, the oppo- 
nents of the Reformation had recourse to the local 
government. In the year 1551 a petition was 
presented, demanding that it should be declared, 
agreeably to the spirit of an ancient law, that no 
exile or evangelical preacher should be permitted to 
remain above three days in the Valteline. Antho- 
ny de Planta, the governor, was a protestant ; but 
dreading, from the irritated feelings of the popu- 
lace, a massacre of the refugees, he gave his con- 
sent to the measure. In consequence of this, the 
preachers were obliged to retire for a time to Chia- 
venna ; and several distinguished individuals, both 
male and female, among whom were count Celso 


Martinengho and Isabella Manricha, prepared to 
remove into Switzerland.* The diet was highly 
offended at these illegal and disorderly proceedings, 
but contented itself with renewing in 1552 its for- 
mer edict, and charging the governor and vicar of 
the Valteline to see it strictly observed. 

The firmness of the government repressed, with- 
out allaying, the hostility of those who had gained 
the command over the passions of the Roman ca- 
tholics, which burst forth on the slightest occasions 
in acts of violence against the protestant preachers. 
They felt a strong hatred and dread of Vergerio, and 
during a visit which he paid to the Valteline in 1553, 
a deputation waited on the governor and insisted on 
the instant banishment of the bishop, adding, that if 
their demand was not complied with, " they would 
not be answerable for the scandals which might 
ensue." Understanding the meaning of this threat, 
Vergerio agreed voluntarily to retire ; " for," says he, 
" they meant to oppose me with the dagger, and 
pistol and poison." One of the basest methods 

* De Porta, ii. 50. Frederic de Salis writes, June 20, 1559, that 
Isabella Manricha (see before, p. 160) was still at Chiavenna waiting 
for her household, and uncertain whether to remain in that place or 
to remove elsewhere. (Ibid. p. 343; conf. p. 170.) Annibale Caro ad- 
dressed a letter from Rome, April 27, 1548, to this lady, who was 
then at Naples. There are four letters by the same learned man to 
her son George Manricha, from the last of which it appears that this 
young man was at Milan on the 18th of June 1562. (Lettere Famil. 
del Commendatore Annibal Caro, tomo i. pp 269, 270, 293; ii. 16, 
279. edit. 1572.) 


adopted by the monkish trumpeters of sedition, 
was to impress on the minds of their hearers that 
it was unlawful for true catholics to hold civil in- 
tercourse with heretics, or to live with them as 
masters or servants, husbands or wives ; by which 
means they disturbed the peace and broke up the har- 
mony of some of the principal families in the coun- 
try. A Dominican monk of Cremona, named Fra 
Angelo, declaiming from the pulpit at Teglio dur- 
ing the festival of Easter 1556, accused the rulers 
of the Grisons of listening to heretical teachers, and 
gave a formal challenge to any of the evangelical 
party, offering to prove from the scriptures that 
those who refused the mass were diabolical he- 
retics, and that their spouses were not legitimate 
wives, but worse than strumpets. On leaving 
the church the infuriated audience rushed to the 
protestant place of worship, attacked Gaddio the 
pastor, and wounded several of the protestants 
who attempted to defend him. Instead of call- 
ing Angelo to account for instigating this tu- 
mult, the Grison government invited him to Coire 
to maintain the dispute which he had provoked ; 
but, although offered a safe-conduct, he refused to 
make his appearance, and orders being afterwards 
issued to apprehend him, he made his escape into 
Italy. The procurator who appeared for those 
who had been active in the riot, did not deny that 
it was caused by the monks, and had the effrontery 
to declare before the judges appointed to examine 


the affair, " that there would never be quietness in 
the republic until that religion of the devil (the 
protestant) was exterminated." Yet so forbearing 
was the government, that it not only passed over 
the tumult with impunity, but sacrificing private 
interests, and in some degree the character of the 
innocent sufferers, to public peace, agreed that 
Gaddio should remove to another place, although 
his congregation earnestly petitioned for his being 
allowed to continue with them.* 

This lenity was entirely thrown away on the 
enemies of the protestants both within and without 
the republic. At the very time that the govern- 
ment was labouring to allay animosities, two bro- 
thers, Francesco and Alessandro Bellinchetti, were 
seized in Italy. They were natives of Bergamo, 
who, on embracing the reformed religion, had re- 
tired into the Grisons and settled in the village of 
Bergun at the foot of mount Albula, where they 
wrought an iron mine. Having paid a visit to their 
native place, they were thrown into the inquisition, 
and proceeded against on a charge of heresy. On 
hearing of this the authorities of the Grisons im- 
mediately sent an ambassador to demand their libe- 
ration as citizens of the republic; and as the magis- 
trates of Bergamo and the senate of Venice referred 
them to the inquisitors, they wrote to the prior of 
the Dominican monastery at Morbegno in the Valte- 

De Porta, ii. U7 119, 264272. 


line to use his influence with his brethren to ob- 
tain the release of the prisoners ; but he paid no re- 
gard to the application. Upon this the diet met and 
came to a peremptory resolution, that if the two 
brothers were not released within the space of a 
month, all the Dominicans within the territories of 
the three leagues should be banished, and the pro- 
perty of the monastery of Morbegno, movable and 
immovable, forfeited and applied to the relief of 
the poor or to other pious uses. An extract of this 
deed being sent to the prior, the prisoners were im- 
mediately set at liberty.* 

In the mean time the foreign monks who in- 
vaded the Valteline, confiding in the support 
of their governments, became every day bolder 
in their invectives and machinations against the 
public peace. Through their influence persons of 
the first respectability for birth, probity and talents 
were not only excluded from civil offices, but deni- 
ed the rites of sepulture, prevented from building 
places of worship, and exposed to every species of 
insult. Seeing no end to this illegal and degrading 
oppression, they at last resolved on laying their grie- 
vances formally before the government. Aware of 
the justice of their complaints, impressed with the 
equity of extending to the subject states that reli- 
gious liberty which had been found so advantageous 
to the governing country, perceiving that the threats 

* De Porta, ii. 272, 273. 


of strangers were heard above the voice of the law 
in their southern dominions, and convinced that it 
was high time to adopt decisive measures unless 
they chose to allow their authority to sink into ab- 
solute contempt, the diet, which met at Ilantz in 
the beginning of the year 1557, unanimously adopt- 
ed the following decree, which, being ratified by the 
several communities, was enrolled among the fun- 
damental and standing laws of the republic. It was 
decreed, that it should be lawful to preach the sacred 
word of God and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ 
in all places belonging to the Valteline, and to the coun- 
ties of Chiavenna, Bormio, and Teglio ; that in those 
villages in which there was a plurality of churches, 
the Roman catholics should have their choice of one, 
and the other should be given to the protestants ; 
that in any village in which there was only one 
church, the Roman catholics should have the privi- 
lege of using it in the former part of the day, and 
the protestants in the latter ; that each party should 
be allowed to perform all the parts of their worship, 
and to bury their dead, without opposition from the 
other; that the professors of the protestant faith 
should enjoy all honours and be admissible to all 
offices equally with their fellow-subjects ; that no 
foreign monk or presbyter, of whatever religious 
persuasion, should be admitted to reside within these 
territories unless he had been previously examined 
and approved by the ordinary authorities in the 
church to which he belonged the ministers by the 


protestant synod in the three leagues, and the priests 
by the bishop and chapter of Coire ; and that none 
should be admitted unless he declared his intention to 
reside at least for a year, and gave security for his 
good behaviour. In the course of the same year an 
act was passed, freeing the protestants from penal- 
ties for not observing the popish holydays. And in 
the following year two statutes were enacted, one 
for extending to the subject provinces the law which 
prevented the admission of new members into monas- 
teries, and the other making stated provision for the 
pastors of the protestant churches. The former 
was not executed. In pursuance of the latter, a 
third of the ecclesiastic rents of Chiavenna was al- 
lotted to the minister of the reformed church in 
that village, which by this time included the half 
of the population. To the pastors in other places 
forty crowns a year were allotted, to be taken in 
the first instance from the benefices of absentees 
and pluralists, and failing these, from the revenues 
which the bishop of Coire drew from the Valteline, 
from the funds of the abbacy of Abundio, or, as 
the last resource, from the common funds of each 

This was the only legislative enactment by 
which positive encouragement was given to the 
reformed religion in the Valteline ; but the pro- 
testant ministers derived little from it except en- 
vy, the clergy contriving by concealment, litigation 

" Dc Porta, ii. 273276, 283287. 


and violence to retain nearly the whole of the 
funds. It was granted in consequence of the re- 
presentation of the protestants, who pleaded, that, 
though the minority in point of numbers, they con- 
tributed the largest proportion to the funds of the 
clergy, many of whom performed no duty, and the 
rest confined themselves chiefly to the saying of 
mass. As is usual on such occasions, those of the 
laity who contributed next to nothing were loudest 
in exclaiming, " that they were taxed for upholding 
an heretical religion ;" while the clergy called upon 
" the Italian deserters of monasteries" to imitate the 
example of the apostle Paul, who laboured with 
his hands that he might not be burdensome to the 
churches, and of the Egyptian anchorites, with Peter 
the hermit at their head ; and insisted that they could 
not be the followers of Christ and his apostles, in- 
asmuch as they did not work miracles nor live on 
alms.* I may mention here another act, passed 
at a later period, which gave great offence to 
the Roman catholics. The diet of the Grison 
republic agreed to erect a college at Sondrio in the 
Valteline. f It did not partake of the nature of a 
theological seminary, but was confined to the teach- 
ing of languages and the arts. The children of 
papists and protestants were equally admissible to 
it, and provision was made for teachers of both 
persuasions. But notwithstanding the liberal prin- 

* De Porta, ii. 287, 289, 560, 561. 

+ Though not erected till 1584, this college was planned so early 
as 1563. (Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. p. 376.) 


ciples on which it was founded, the clergy cried 
out against it as a Lutheran seminary ; formal 
representations were made against it by the po- 
pish cantons of Switzerland and by the court of 
Milan ; and the republic was obliged to send back 
the principal, a learned and moderate man, whom 
they had brought from Zurich, and to remove the 
institution, after it had subsisted for only one year, 
to the city of Coire. * 

The Italian exiles were elated by the laws passed 
in their favour, and looked forward with sanguine 
hopes to the speedy triumph of the reformed cause 
in the Valteline ; but their ultramontane brethren, 
who were better acquainted with the genius of the 
inhabitants, and more indifferent judges of the op- 
position which might be expected from foreign 
powers, repressed their fervour, and wisely urged 
upon them the propriety of trusting for success to 
the gradual illumination of the people, rather than to 
legislative decrees which required external force to 
carry them into execution, f The court of Rome 
was highly displeased from the beginning at the 
reception given to the Italian exiles in the Grisons ; 
but its displeasure was converted into a mingled 

* De Porta, torn. ii. part. ii. 32, 37, 48, 53, 57-8, 332. The erection 
of a similar seminary in 1614, but on a smaller scale, and without 
deriving any support from the funds of the Valteline, excited equal 
hostility, and was made one pretext for the rebellion which followed 
soon after. (Ibid. pp. 252 254, 322.) 

t De Porta, ii. 280, 281. 

2 A 


feelinsr of indiomation and alarm, when it saw the 
standard of evangelical truth planted in one of the 
suburbs of Italy, from which, if not speedily dis- 
lodged, it might be carried into the interior, and at 
once insult and endanger the head of the church in 
his capital. The extirpation of the colony was re- 
solved on ; and to accomplish it the popes exert- 
ed themselves in securing the co-operation of the 
neighbouring catholic powers, especially the Spanish 
monarch, who had lately obtained the sovereignty 
of Milan. It is difficult to say whether ambition 
or bigotry had the ascendant in the character of 
Philip II., but both principles led him to embark 
in this scheme with the utmost cordiality. The 
Valteline bordered on the Milanese, and had for- 
merly belonged to that dutchy. Philip, as well as 
the dukes who preceded him, had ratified the ces- 
sion of it to the republic of the Grisons, but that 
did not prevent him from cherishing the idea of 
recovering a territory which was the key to the 
communication between Milan and Germany, and 
the command of which would enable him at all times 
with safety to convey troops from Austria to his 
dominions in the north of Italy. For interfering with 
the affairs of the Valteline, he found a pretext in the 
plea, that it was necessary for him to avert heresy 
from the Milanese, which had already been to no 
inconsiderable extent tainted by that pestilential ma- 

In no quarter of Italy had more cruel methods 


been used to extirpate the new opinions than in the 
Milanese. Galeazzo Trezio, a nobleman of Laude 
Pompeia, while attending the university of Pavia, 
had imbibed the reformed doctrines from Maynardi, 
who acted at that time as an Augustinian preacher, 
and was confirmed in them by the instructions of 
Celio Secundo Curio. Having fallen into the hands 
of the inquisition in 1551, and retracted some conces- 
sions which he had been induced to make at his first 
apprehension, he was sentenced to be burnt alive, a 
punishment which he bore with the greatest for- 
titude.* The persecution became more general when 
the duke of Alva was made governor. In the year 
1558 two persons were committed alive to the 
flames. One of them, a monk, being forced by an 
attending priest into a pulpit erected beside the 
stake to make his recantation, confessed the truth 
with great boldness, and was driven into the fire 
with blows and curses. During the course of the 
following year scarcely a week elapsed without some 
individual being brought out to suffer for heresy ; 
and in 1563 eleven citizens of rank were thrown into 
prison. The execution of a young priest in 1569 
was accompanied with circumstances of peculiar 
barbarity. He was condemned to be hanged and 
dragged to the gibbet at a horse's tail. In conse- 
quence of entreaty the last part of the sentence was 

* The account of this martyr was furnished by Celio S. Curio to 
Pantaleon. (Rerum in Eccl. Gest. pp. 217-219. Conf. Ilieronymi Ma- 
rii Eusebius Captivus, f. 105.) 


dispensed with ; but after being half-strangled, he 
was cut down, and refusing to recant, was literal- 
ly roasted to death, and his body thrown to the 

In the year 1559 the government of Milan erect- 
ed forts on the confines of the Valteline. Under the 
cover of these the inquisitors entered the country, and 
as they durst not seize the persons of the inhabitants, 
collected a large quantity of heretical books which 
they burnt with great solemnity. They were fol- 
lowed by a swarm of foreign monks, who, trusting 
to the garrisons as places of retreat, despised the 
edict which prohibited them from entering the 
country, and went about inflaming the minds of the 
people against the protestant preachers, and the 
rulers by whom they were protected and favour- 
ed.j- A college of Jesuits also was established 
at Ponte, and maintained itself in spite of repeat- 
ed orders issued by the diet for its removal. ^ 
These strangers kept up a regular correspond- 
ence with the heads of their respective orders at 

* De Porta, ii. 295-6, 486, 4-88. The following notice may be add- 
ed to what has been already stated respecting the duke of Man- 
tua. " Gulielmo duke of Mantua, by refusing to send some persons 
accused of heresy to Rome, incurred the serious resentment of the 
pope, who threatened to declare war against him if he permitted 
Mantua to become a nest for heretics. And beyond all doubt he 
would have attacked him, had not the princes of Italy prevailed on 
him by their intercessions to pardon the duke on his submission." 
(Bzovii Annal. ad an. 1566.) 

t De Porta, ii. 297299. Ibul - PP- 302301. 


Como, Milan, Rome, and other places in Italy, the 
effects of which were soon after made apparent. It 
has been already mentioned that Pius IV., who 
filled the papal throne between 1559 and 156G, had 
been a priest in the Valteline ; a circumstance which 
at once disposed him to take an interest in the af- 
fairs of that country, and made his interposition the 
more effective. In 1561 his legate Bianchi, provost 
of Santa Maria della Scala at Milan, appeared at 
Coire. Supported by the presence and influence of 
Ritzio, the Milanese ambassador, the legate made 
a formal demand on the diet, in the name of his 
holiness, that they should banish the Italian exiles 
from the Valteline and Chiavenna, allow free in- 
gress and egress to foreign monks, make no oppo- 
sition to the Jesuit college at Ponte, prevent the is- 
suing of books derogatory to the church of Rome 
from the press at Puschiavo, and in general over- 
turn all that they had done in relation to religion in 
that part of their dominions.* But the influence of 
Pius, who had not left behind him the odour of sanc- 
tity in the Grisons, was small, compared with that 
of his nephew, the celebrated cardinal Borromeo, 
archbishop of Milan. Though this prelate owed 
his canonization more to his zeal for Catholicism 
than to his piety, yet his talents and the decorum 
of his private character rendered him by far the 
most formidable adversary that appeared against 
the protestant interest. It was the great object of 

* Dc Porta, ii. 354 -871. 


his ambition from an early period of life to oppose 
an effectual barrier to the progress of heresy, and to 
repair and prop the fabric of popery which he saw 
tottering on its base. With this view he applied 
himself to the removal of abuses in Italy ; intro- 
duced reforms into the morals of the clergy, parti- 
cularly of the monastic orders ; and erected semi- 
naries in which young persons of talents should ob- 
tain such an education as might qualify them for 
entering the lists with the protestants, and fighting 
them with their own weapons. Hitherto those 
who had appeared as the champions of the church 
of Rome, though often not destitute of talents, were 
almost always deficient in learning, and could do 
little more than ring changes, and that for the most 
part rudely, on the popular prejudices against inno- 
vation and in favour of the catholic church. But men 
of learning now came forward who could " make the 
Worse appear the better cause," who, if they did not 
convince by the solidity of their arguments, could 
entangle the minds of their readers by their subtlety, 
or dazzle them by the splendour of their eloquence, 
and who could artfully withdraw attention from 
the real image of the church as she existed, to one 
which w T as the pure creation of their own imaeina- 
tion. All the celebrated champions of the catholic 
faith, fromBellarmine to Bossuet, proceeded from the 
school of Borrorneo. It would have been well if 
the cardinal had confined himself to methods of 
this kind ; but, beside abetting the most violent 



measures for suppressing the reformed opinions 
within his own diocese, he industriously fomented 
dissensions in foreign countries, leagued with men 
who were capable of any desperate attempt, and 
busied himself in providing arms for subjects who 
were ready to rebel against their lawful rulers, and 
to shed the blood of their peaceable fellow-citizens.* 
It is only a general account which I can here give 
of the course pursued for disturbing the peace of 
the Grisons, and expelling the refugees from the 
settlement which they had obtained in the Valteline. 
The goods belonging to citizens of the republic who 
traded with the Milanese were seized by the inqui- 
sitors, and applications for restitution and redress 
were almost in every instance refused or evaded. 
Merchants who visited that country were appre- 
hended on a charge of heres}', detained in prison, 
forced to purchase their liberty with large sums of 
money, or condemned to different kinds of punish- 
ment. Borromeo was not afraid to incarcerate the 
chief magistrate of the jurisdiction of Mayenfeld.j 
At last a new species of outrage, unheard of among 
civilized nations, was resorted to. Bands of armed 
men haunted the roads of the Valteline, seized the 
protestants unawares, and carried them into Italy. 
Francesco Cellario, the protestant minister at Mor- 

* The most serious of these charges is supported hy the cardinal's 
letter of the 24th May 1584 to the nuncio Spczzani, published by 
Quadrio, the catholic historian of the Valteline, and reprinted by De 
Porta. (Tom. ii. part. ii. pp. 33 35 ; conf. part. i. pp. 161, 482.) 

f Ibid. ii. 455, 461, 482. 


begno, was returning in 1568 from a meeting of the 
synod held at Zutz in Upper Engadina. He had 
scarcely left the town of Chiavenna, when some vil- 
lains rushed from a thicket on the margin of the 
lake Lario, forced him into a boat which they had 
ready, and conveying him first to Como and af- 
terwards to Milan, delivered him to the inquisition. 
Ambassadors were sent to demand the prisoner, 
but they found that he had been sent to Rome, and 
were told by the duke De Terranova, the governor, 
that his abduction was the work of the inquisi- 
tors, over whom he had no control.* After being 
detained nearly a year in prison, Cellario was tried 
by the inquisition at Rome, and committed to the 
flames on the 20th of May 1569-f The practice of 
manstealing now became a constant traffic in the Val- 
teline; and at every meeting of the diet, for a course 
of years, complaints were made that some persons had 

* Gabutius, in his Life of Pius IV. gives the duke's answer in these 
words : " That the pope has an absolute and lawful power over all 
parts of the world to seize, as often as he pleases, and inflict merited 
punishment on heretics." (Laderchii Annal. torn, xxxiii. 6, 198.) 

t Laderchius, ut supra. De Porta, ii. 464 476. The first of these 
writers gives, from the records of the inquisition, the sentence con- 
demning Cellario to be burnt alive. Gabutius says he recanted when 
he came in sight of the fire. De Porta, on the contrary, states that 
a native of the Grisons, who was in Rome and witnessed the execu- 
tion, deponed, that the martyr on being taken from the fiery stake 
refused to confess, and was again thrown into the flames. Cellario 
had been a Minorite monk of the order De Observantia, and was 
twice imprisoned at Pavia. The first time, he was released on mak- 
ing some confession ; the second time, he broke his chains and made 
his escape into the Grisons in the year 1568. 


been carried off, including not only exiles from Italy 
but native citizens of the Grison republic* The in- 
vestigations into these acts of violence implicated 
in most instances the monks of Morbegno, who were 
in the habit of regularly giving such information to 
the inquisitors as enabled them to seize their prey.f 
Nor did they confine themselves to the service. 
After the abduction of Cellario, Ulixio Martinengho, 
count De Barcho, a learned and pious nobleman who 
had resided for a number of years in the Valteline, 
officiated in his room until the admission of Scipione 
Calandrino, a native of Lucca, whom the congrega- 
tion had chosen for their pastor. The monks, who 
had looked forward to the dispersion of that flock, 
were greatly irritated at their disappointment ; and 
two of them entering one day the church at Mellio, 
fired a pistol at Calandrino while he was in the act of 
preaching. An old man observed them levelling the 
piece, and gave warning to Calandrino, who evaded 
the shot ; upon which the ruffians stabbed the old man 
mortally, and rushingforward to the pulpit, wounded 
the preacher, and made their escape amidst the con- 
fusion into which the congregation was thrown.:}: 

The most humiliating circumstance in the whole 
of this affair is the disgraceful timidity and irreso- 
lution with which the Grison government acted. 
They sent ambassadors, they craved redress, they 
ordered investigations, and, on making discoveries, 

* De Porta, ii. 477, 478, 4S0, 482; part, ii. 7 9, .50, SS, 95. 
t Ibid. ii. 455, 457, 465, 483. 
% Ibid. ii. 483, 484. 


they passed threatening votes ; but they took no 
step becoming the character of a free people in de- 
fence of their violated independence and insulted 
honour. Their neighbours showed them an exam- 
ple worthy of their imitation. Cardinal Borromeo, 
in one of his archiepiscopal visitations, entered the 
territories of Switzerland. The Swiss government, 
not relishing the visit, dispatched an envoy to re- 
quest the governor of the Milanese to recall him. 
No sooner had the envoy arrived at Milan, than he 
was seized by the inquisitor and thrown into pri- 
son ; but the governor, as soon as he learnt the fact, 
ordered his release, and treated hiin with marks of 
great respect. On being informed of what had hap- 
pened, the Swiss authorities sent a message to the 
governor, signifying that if the same post which 
brought the news of the imprisonment of their en- 
voy had not acquainted them with his enlargement, 
they would instantly have seized the cardinal and 
detained him as a hostage ; upon hearing which, 
his eminence retired from the Swiss territories with 
less ceremony than he had entered them. * If the 
authorities of the Grisons had acted in this manner 
if they had, as they were advised, confiscated the 
property belonging to the inhabitants of Milan and 
Como, and retained it until their own merchants 
were indemnified for the losses which they had sus- 
tained ; and above all, if they had issued peremp- 
tory orders to level the monaster)' of Morbegno with 
the ground, as a watchtower of spies and a den of 

* Fra Paolo, Discoiso dell' Inquisitionc di Vcnetia, p. 17. 


thieves, the boldness of the measure, supported by 
its justice, while it gave courage to the loyal and 
checked the disaffected among their own subjects, 
would have secured the respect and forbearance of 
foreign powers. But the counsels of the republic 
were distracted by dissensions, and its arm palsied 
by corruption. The Grey league, w r hich was com- 
posed chiefly of Roman catholics, refused its consent 
to any vigorous measure. Spanish gold had found 
its way into the other leagues ; and a protestant am- 
bassador returned from Milan, bearing the insignia 
of an order of knighthood conferred on him by a 
papal brief, instead of bringing the prisoner whose 
liberty he w T as sent to demand. France, on whose 
aid the party opposed to Spain placed its chief de- 
pendence, had fallen under the rule of the house of 
Guise, which was secretly engaged in the league for 
the extirpation of protestantism ; and the report of 
the massacre of St. Bartholomew, while it blew up 
the hopes entertained from the north, gave dreadful 
note of a similar explosion from the south, which was 
soon to shake the Grisons to its centre. The proper 
season of applying the remedy being neglected, the 
evil became inveterate, and all attempts to cure it 
served only to inflame and exasperate. Provoked 
by persevering injuries, alarmed by repeated con- 
spiracies, and betrayed without being able to disco- 
ver or convict the traitors, the authorities had re- 
course to violent measures; and courts of justice, coin- 
posed chiefly of protestants, were erected, by which 
arbitrary and heavy punishments were inflicted, and 


individuals were condemned on slight or suspi- 
cious evidence. These severities were artfully heigh- 
tened by the representations of foreign agents, 
and ministered fresh fuel to the existing disaf- 
fection. The joint influence of these causes led 
to the catastrophe of 1620, of which no person 
acquainted with the general history of Europe 
is ignorant the indiscriminate and barbarous mas- 
sacre of the protestants in the Valteline, the re- 
volt of all the southern dependencies of the repub- 
lic, and the temporary subjugation of the Grisons 
by the combined arms of Austria and Spain. Writ- 
ers professing to have formed an impartial judg- 
ment* impute these disastrous events, in a great 
measure, to the impolitic zeal with which the Gri- 
sons attempted to introduce the Reformation into 
the Valteline. There can be no question that if the 
Reformation had not been admitted into the Gri- 
sons, the republic would not have been exposed to 
that hostility which they actually encountered from 
neighbouring powers. But ought they on that 
ground to have prevented its reception ? And hav- 
ing allowed it in the governing country, would they 
have been warranted in prohibiting it within the sub- 
ject states ? Or, are they greatly to be blamed for 
having given encouragement to those who were their 
best subjects, and on whom they could rely for an en- 
tire and undivided allegiance ? If the subject be im- 

* Coxc's Travels in Switzerland, vol. iii. p. 96. 


partially considered, it will be found, I apprehend, that 
the radical and main cause of the disturbances was 
the retaining of the southern provinces in a state of 
vassalage, together with the oppressions and pecu- 
lation to which this led on the part of the indivi- 
duals to whom the government of them was com- 
mitted, evils which are almost inseparable from 
the government of colonies and dependent provinces, 
whether they belong to monarchies or republics. 
Had the Valteline and the adjoining districts been re- 
ceived at first into the confederation as a fourth 
league, and admitted to all its privileges, the inha- 
bitants would have turned a deaf ear to the insi- 
dious proposals made to them from Milan and In- 
spruck, and the obstacles to the Reformation would 
not have been greater in the Cisalpine than they 
were in the Transalpine departments of the re- 

Before leaving the Grisons, it will be proper to 
give some account of the internal dissensions which 
prevailed among the Italian exiles. Though thegreat- 
erpart of them were distinguished for their learning, 
zeal and piety, and by their services amply repaid 
the kindness of the country which afforded them an 
asylum, it was soon found that others cherished in 
their breasts a variety of subtle and dangerous opin- 
ions, which they at first insinuated in private, and 
afterwards taught and maintained with such factious 
pertinacity as to bring scandal on the whole body of 
the exiles, and to give great offence and uneasiness 
to those who had been most active in procuring them 


a hospitable reception. It is impossible to give such 
an account of the opinions of this party as will apply 
to all the individuals who composed it. While they 
agreed in refusing their assent to the received 
creed, some of them cavilled at one of its articles 
and others at another. The leaders cautiously ab- 
stained from disclosing their system, and contented 
themselves with imparting privately to the initiat- 
ed such of their views as they knew to be most 
offensive and startling to the minds of serious 
Christians. The more forward, who were usually 
the most unlearned, advanced crude and contradic- 
tory notions ; and, their minds being unhinged 
and tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, 
they veered suddenly to opposite extremes, so that 
it was not uncommon to find individuals main- 
taining one day that God was the author of sinful 
actions and that holiness had no connexion with 
salvation, and the next day inveighing against the 
doctrine of predestination as leading to these odious 
consequences. In general, however, they were dis- 
ciples of Servetus, whose creed was a compound of 
anabaptism and antitrinitarianism, and had, as we 
have seen, been embraced by a number of the pro- 
testants in Italy.* 

Francesco, a Calabrian, and Jeronimo, a Mantuan, 
were the first who excited a noise by venting these 
opinions. They had not been long settled as pas- 
tors in the district of Engadina when the report 

* See before, pp. Its 158. 


arose that they were inculcating, that infants ought 
not to be baptized ; that God is the author of sinful 
actions ; that the body, flesh or death of Christ can 
be of no avail for the salvation of men ; and that 
the souls of the just sleep till the resurrection. The 
church of Lavin dismissed Jeronimo as soon as they 
ascertained his sentiments ; but the Calabrian, by 
his address and eloquence, had so fascinated his flock 
at Vettan, that they clung to him and regarded all 
his sayings as oracular. This encouraged him to 
persevere in the course which he had begun, and to 
despise the admonitions of his brethren. Loud 
complaints being made that his doctrine was cor- 
rupting the morals of the people, a public disputa- 
tion, according to the mode of those times, was held 
in the year 1544 at Zutz, which was attended by 
Roman catholic priests as well as protestant mini- 
sters. Francesco, having appeared before this assem- 
bly, was convicted of the chief errors imputed to him, 
and was afterwards expelled the country.* 

But it was in the Italian churches erected on the 
south of- the Alps that these opinions were most in- 
dustriously propagated and excited the greatest stirs. 
The author and chief fomenter of these was Camillo 
Renato,a man of considerable acuteness and learning, 
but addicted to novelties, captious yet cool, opinion- 
ative yet artful and insinuating. As long as he 
remained at Caspan he had little opportunity of 
making disciples, though he tainted the mind of 

* Bock, Hist. Antitrin. torn. ii. p. <H0. De Porta, ii. 6775. 


Paravicino, in whose house he lived as tutor. But 
on his coming to Chiavenna, where the protestants 
were numerous, he found a more extensive field for 
propagating his peculiar notions. Mainardi,the mi- 
nister of the protestant church in that town, perceiv- 
ing that the minds of some of his flock were corrupt- 
ed, and those of others scandalized by the opinions 
which were secretly sown among them, remonstrat- 
ed with Camillo, and endeavoured by private con- 
ferences to effect a change on his views, or at least 
to prevail on him to retain them within his own 
breast. Failing to accomplish this, he first gave 
warning to his people from the pulpit of the danger 
to which they were exposed, and afterwards drew 
up, in the name of his congregation, a confession of 
faith, in which, without mentioning the name of 
Camillo, he explicitly condemned his errors. Upon 
this Camillo and his followers withdrew from the 
ministry of Mainardi, and began to meet by them- 

The following are the opinions which are said 
to have been held by Camillo : That the soul dies 
with the body, or sleeps until the resurrection ; 
that the same body substantially shall not be raised 
at the last day ; that there shall be no resurrection 
of the wicked ; that man was created mortal, and 
would have died though he had not sinned ; that 
there is no natural law by which men can know 
what to do or avoid ; that unregenerate men are 
irrational creatures like the brutes ; that the de- 
calogue is useless to believers, who have no law but 


the Spirit ; that the scripture says nothing of the 
merit of Christ ; that he had concupiscence residing 
in him, was capable of sinning though lie did not ac- 
tually sin, and that he is said to have been made a 
curse because he was conceived in original sin, and 
not because he was made a sacrifice for sin or 
suffered the death of the cross for sinners ; that 
justifying faith has no need of being confirmed by 
sacraments ; that there is no resemblance between 
baptism and circumcision ; and that baptism and 
the Lord's supper are merely signs of what is past, 
do not seal any blessing, and have no promise an- 
nexed to them.* It is not difficult to perceive in 
these propositions the elements which were after- 
wards formed into a system by Faustus Socinus. 
It is true, Camillo did not profess his disbelief of 
the doctrine of the trinity, but some of his disciples 
who enjoyed a large share of his confidence made 
no scruple of openly disavowing it. He was also 
wary as to what he advanced on the immortality of 
the soul, and when pushed on that point by his 
opponents was wont to reply, " Camillo is igno- 
rant whether the soul be immortal or not ; he 
does not affirm that the soul dies with the body, he 
only says so for the sake of dispute." 

Mainardi's confession which contained these articles is lost; but 
Pietro Leonis, a disciple of Camillo, inserted them in a book which he 
published at Milan, from which they were extracted by De Porta, (ii. 
8 3_86.) That Camillo carried his scepticism into philosophy as well 
as divinity, appears from the following article : Quod memoria 
rei alicujus non fiat, ut is qui illam facit, rei vel facti certior fiat." 

2 B 


Irritated at the detection of his scheme before 
he had time to mature it, Camillo complained 
loudly of the conduct of Mainardi. He drew up 
several writings against him, in which, confining 
himself to the subject of the sacraments, he endea- 
voured to hold up his opponent as at once ignorant 
and intolerant, and the true cause of all the discord 
which had arisen. In this he was encouraged by 
Stancari and Negri. The former, who at a subse- 
quent period excited great contentions in Poland and 
in Germany, fomented the schism in the congrega- 
tion of Chiavenna, although in his sentiments re- 
specting the sacraments he went to the opposite ex- 
treme from Camillo. Negri, a good but weak man, 
vacillated between the views of Camillo and Stan- 
cari, and lent his aid to the faction.* The conse- 
quence of all this was, that Mainardi incurred the 
censures of some of his countrymen who occasion- 
ally visited the place, such as Vergerio and Altieri ; 
and received letters from the Grisons and Switzer- 
land, admonishing him to conduct himself with 
greater moderation. Knowing that he had good 
grounds for all which he had done, and that the pre- 
judices raised against him would give way as soon 
as the cause came to be investigated, Mainardi did 
not relax in his vigilance. The favourers of Ca- 
millo (says he in a letter to Bullinger) tear my 
sermons in pieces. If I hold my peace, the truth is 

+ Museum Helveticum, torn. xix. pp. 481 4S7 ; where extracts 
are given from the letters of Altieri and other distinguished persons 
at Venice, describing the turbulent temper of Stancari. 


exposed to imminent danger : if I speak, I am a 
morose old man, and intolerant. Write to Blasio 
and Comander not to listen to the statements of one 
party, but to come and examine the matter before 
the whole congregation. I purposed to retire 
into England, but providence has kept me from de- 
serting this little flock. Yet I wish they could ob- 
tain a better pastor and one of greater fortitude than 
I." From the time that he came to the Valteline, 
Camillo had kept up a correspondence with Bullin- 
ger by letters, in which he endeavoured to ingra- 
tiate himself with him, by professing his agreement 
with the church of Zurich ; but when his opponent 
offered to submit the controversy between them to 
the judgment of that venerable divine he declined 
the proposal. The Grison synod which met in 1547 
called the parties before them, but Camillo neither 
attended nor sent a letter of excuse, upon which 
they enjoined him to desist from opposing his mi- 
nister and disturbing the peace of the church. As 
he disregarded this injunction and continued his 
former practices, a deputation, consisting of four 
of the principal ministers in the Grisons, was sent 
to Chiavenna in the close of the year 1549, to in- 
quire into the affair, and to put an end to a dissen- 
sion which now made a great noise, and caused no 
small scandal both among Roman catholics and 
protestants.* The deputation found all the charges 

On this occasion, a correspondence of a rather singular kind took 
place between the deputies and the Roman catholic chapter of Chi- 


brought against Camillo proved, and declared that 
Mainardi had acted the part of a faithful, and vigi- 
lant minister; but without censuring the former, 
they, with the view of restoring harmony, drew up 
certain articles upon the subjects which had been con- 
troverted, to which they required both parties to 
agree. But although Camillo subscribed this 
agreement, the deputies had scarcely left the place 
when he resumed his former practices, in conse- 
quence of which the consistory of Chiavenna sus- 
pended him from church privileges, and on his 
proving contumacious, publicly pronounced the sen- 
tence of excommunication against him.* 

After this we hear little of Camillo.f I have 
been the more particular in my account of him, 
because there is every reason to think he had great 
influence in forming the opinions of Lelius Socinus. 
By their contemporaries the former is usually spo- 
ken of as the master and the latter as the disciple. 

avenna. The former, on their arrival, addressed a letter to the chap- 
ter, intimating the design on which they had come, and inviting 
them to meet with them, and " confer on those common articles of 
Christianity about which they were both agreed." The chapter re- 
turned a polite answer, but declined the meeting, " because there 
was a great gulf between them ;" adding a number of exhortations to 
unity and against divisions, the drift of which it was not difficult to 

* Hottinger, Helvetische Kirchengeschichte, torn. iii. 762, 791 : 
De Porta, torn. ii. cap. 4. 

t That he was alive, and in Chiavenna or the neighbourhood of 
it, in 1555, appears from a letter of Julio da Milano to Bullinger, in 
which he speaks of him as requiring still to be narrowly watched. 
(Fueslin, p. 357.) 


It is certain that Socinus had interviews with 
Camillo at Chiavenna; and the resemblance be- 
tween their opinions, and the cautions and artful 
manner in which they uttered them, is very strik- 

Finding themselves baffled in their attempts to 
propagate their peculiar tenets, the innovators had 
recourse to a device which had nearly proved suc- 
cessful. They got Celso Martinengho, Vergerio, and 
some other respectable names to subscribe a peti- 
tion for liberty to the Italian ministers to hold a 
synod of their own, distinct from that which met 
in the Grisons. In support of this proposal, they 
pleaded the difficulty of the journey across the 
Alps, the difference of languages, and certain rites 
practised by the Grisons which the Italians dis- 
liked, and which other reformed churches had laid 
aside. f But the measure was quashed by the wiser 
part, who saw that the preservation of the Italian 

* Illgen, Vita Laelii Socini, pp. 17, 44. Bock, ii. 581-2. Hot- 
tinger, iii. 791. Fueslin, p. 356. De Porta, ii. 86. 

t These rites were the use of unleavened bread in the eucharist, the 
pronouncing of the angelical salutation (commonly called Salve i?o 
gina) after the Lord's prayer, and the admitting of godfathers in 
baptism. In this last character Roman catholics were sometimes ad- 
mitted; and Paul Iter, the popish bishop of Coire, occasionally pre- 
sented the child for baptism to Comander. The ministers of the 
Grisons were not rigidly attached to any of these rites, and they dis- 
approved of the last-mentioned practice, though they scrupled to pro- 
hibit it, (especially after the violence manifested by the priests of the 
Valteline,) lest it should interrupt the friendly intercourse which 
subsisted between popish and protestant families. The Italians ex- 
claimed against every thing of this kind as symbolizing with anti- 
christ. (De Porta, ii. 66, 226.) 


churches, both from the arts of internal agitators 
and from the attacks of their popish adversaries, 
depended on their maintaining their union with the 
churches of the Grisons inviolate. * 

The noted antitrinitarians, Alciati and Blan- 
drata, stirred the ashes of the late controversy, 
during a visit which they paid to the Grisons in 
1553, on their way from Italy to Switzerland. Af- 
ter this Michael Angelo Florio, minister of Soglio, 
and Jeronimo Turriano of Plurs, began to under- 
mine the faith of their hearers in the doctrine of 
the atonement by ascribing salvation solely to the 
grace of God ; while the divinity of Christ was di- 
rectly attacked by others, particularly by Ludovico 
Fieri, a Bolognese, and a member of the church of 
Chiavenna. In 1561 the synod summoned these 
persons before them, and drew up certain articles 
condemnatory of their opinions, which Florio and 
Turriano subscribed ; but Fieri, avowing his senti- 
ments, was excommunicated and retired to Mora- 
via, f There were, however, still individuals se- 
cretly attached to antitrinitarianism, who continued 
to correspond with their friends in other countries ; 
and in 1570 the controversy was revived, in conse- 
quence of the arrival of some distinguished persons 
belonging to the sect, who found it dangerous to 
remain any longer in Switzerland. Among these 
were Camillo Soccini, a brother of Lelius Socinus, 
Marccllo Squarcialupo, a physician of Piombino, 

* Bock, ii. 1GC. f Dc Toita, ii. 397, 497. 


and Niccolo Camulio, an opulent merchant, who 
liberally patronised persons of this persuasion.* 
Their presence encouraged Turriano to resume his 
former course, in which he was joined by Sylvio,f 
the minister of Trahona, and some other indivi- 
duals. But the proceedings of the synod which, 
met at Coire in the year 1571 induced the strangers 
to withdraw from the Grisons. Turriano and the 
other ministers were deposed, but subsequently re- 
stored to their churches on making acknowledg- 
ments for their offensive behaviour. \ Alciati and 
Blandrata visited the Grisons a second time in the 
beginning of 1579, but were ordered by the magi- 
strates instantly to depart, after which the coun- 
try does not appear to have been disturbed with 
these controversies. $ When we consider that the 
Italians were strangers, that they had obtained an 
asylum on condition of their joining themselves 
to the protestant church already settled in the coun- 
try and submitting to its discipline, and that the 
republic was subjected to great odium on account of 
the harbour and protection which it afforded them, 
we will be cautious in condemning the magistrates 
for expelling individuals who fomented discord and 
endangered the existence of the whole colony, by 

Schclhorn, Diss, de Mino Celso, p. 35. Bock, ii. 483, 551, 576; 
conf. i. 907910. Do Porta, ii. 508, 54-3, 511. 

t Bartolommeo Sylvio was the author of a tract on the Eucharist, 
printed in 1551. 

$ De Mino Celso, pp. 3537. De Torta, ii. 197502, 513, 555. 

Ibid. ii. 632. 


propagating sentiments equally shocking to the ears 
of papists and protestants. Expulsion was the 
highest punishment which they inflicted ; and in 
one instance in which they threatened to proceed 
farther against an individual, named Titiano, who 
had provoked them, the ministers interjDosed and 
prevailed on them to desist from their intention. * 
I cannot, however, speak so favourably of the sen- 
timents entertained by many of the ministers re- 
specting the punishment of heretics. This question 
was keenly agitated after the execution of Ser- 
vetus at Geneva. Gantner, one of the ministers 
of Coire, maintained that heresy ought not to 
be punished by magistrates, and was warmly 
opposed by Eglin, his colleague. The dispute 
was brought under the consideration of the synod 
in 1571, which decided in favour of Eglin. It 
is true the proposition adopted by the synod re- 
fers to seditious heretics ; but several of the argu- 
ments on which it appears to have been grounded, 
and by which it was afterwards defended, would 
(if they had any force) justify the punishment, and 
even the capital punishment of persons who are 
chargeable with simple heresy, and consequently 
must have tended to lead those who held them 
into measures of persecution, f 

Though it appears from what has been stated, that a 
number of the Italian exiles were tainted with Arian- 
ism, yet several individuals among them have been 

* De Torta, ii. 76. 

t Ibid. ii. 533 5 10. Diss, de Mino Cclso, pp. 3744. 


suspected of this without the slightest reason. Even 
Zanchi, who succeeded Mainardi,* has not escaped 
the suspicion with some writers,! although he was 
the individual selected by his brethren as most fit 
for opposing this heresy, a task which he perform- 
ed with distinguished ability. His assertion that 
he was " neither a Lutheran, Zuinglian, nor Calvi- 
nian, but a Christian," is what every person may 
adopt whose faith is founded on the word of God, 
and not on the wisdom and authority of men. The 
suspicions against Celso Martinengho and Vergerio^ 
appear to have originated entirely in their having 
at first taken part with Camillo against Mainardi, 
before they discovered the real sentiments of the for- 
mer. Martinengho afterwards enjoyed the confidence 
of Calvin during all the time that he was pastor of 
the Italian church at Geneva. Vergerio declared 
himself openly against the anabaptists, and gave 

* Mainardi died in the end of July 1563, in the 81st year of his 
age. (Zanchii Opera, torn. vii. p, 35.) He was the author of the three 
following works: (1.) Trattato dell' unica et perfetta sattisfattione 
di Christo, a. 1551. (2.) Uno pio et utile sermone della Gratia di 
Dio contra li meriti humani, a. 1552. (3.) LAnatomia della Messa. 
The question concerning the real author of this last work, which Bayle 
has discussed at great length, but unsatisfactorily, (Diet. art. Verge- 
rio,) had been previously settled by Zanchi. (Ut supra.) I may add 
here, that Alessandro Trissino, a native of Vicenza, wrote a long let- 
ter to count Leonardo Tiene, exhorting him and his fellow-citi- 
zens to embrace the reformed opinions. It was dated from Chiaven- 
na, July 20, 1570, and printed two years after. (Tiraboschi, vii. 

t Bock, ii. 4,26, 563. 

Ibid. ii. 410, 551553. De Porta, ii. 63, 151156. 


early warning of the defection of his countrymen 
Socinus and Gribaldi to the opinions of Servetus.* 
The fate of this distinguished man was in some 
respects hard. He forfeited the high character 
which he had held in the church of Rome,f without 
gaining the confidence of the protestants. By wav- 
ering between the sentiments of the Lutherans and 
Zuinglians, he incurred the displeasure of both. 
He excited the jealousy of the ministers in the Gri- 
sons by affecting a species of episcopal authority as 
superintendent or visitor of the Italian churches ; 
and they complained that he had not laid aside the 
mitre, nor forgotten the arts which he had learned 
at courts.:}: It is not improbable that, in addition 
to the finesse which has been supposed to enter in- 
to the Italian character, Vergerio had acquired from 
his employments the habit of using policy to accom- 
plish his ends, and that he felt some difficulty in re- 
conciling himself to the simple life of a protestantpas- 
tor after the splendour and opulence to which he had 
been accustomed. But if he had not been attached 
to the Reformation, he would have listened to the 
proposals made to him by the court of Rome, which, 
though it would have preferred seizing his person, 
was not unwilling to purchase his faith. Though 
his writings were not profound, and his conduct was 
marked with versatility, protestants might have 
treated with a little more tenderness the memory 
of a man whose name lent at least a temporary cre- 

" De Porta, ii. 15S, 159. f Bcnibo, Lcttere, tomo iii. p. 389. 

% Dc Torta, ii. 154, 160166. 


(lit to their cause, and who gave the rare example 
of sacrificing worldly honours and affluence to reli- 
gious principle. He died on the 4th of October 
1565, at Tubingen in the dutchy of Wirtemburg, 
where he had resided since the year 1553, although 
he repeatedly visited the Grisons during that inter- 

Ludovico Castelvetro, of whom we have already 
spoken, was among the learned men who found a 
refuge from persecution in the Grisons. After the 
apprehension of his brethren of the academy at 
Modena in 1557,f he concealed himself in the ter- 
ritories of Ferrara until the death of Paul IV. In 
1561, having obtained a safe-conduct, he was per- 
suaded to go to Rome, along with his brother Gian- 
maria, to give an account of his faith, and had the 
convent of San Maria in Via assigned to him as a 
prison, with liberty to receive his friends. But af- 
ter undergoing several examinations he deemed it 
prudent to withdraw in the night-time from the 
city, and escaped with great difficulty to Chiavenna, 
where he met his old friend Franciscus Portus. The 
sentence of excommunication was in consequence 
passed against him and his brother. Through the 
interest of his friend Foscarari, bishop of Modena, 
hopes were given him of a favourable issue to his 
process provided he would return to Italy ; but he 

* Salig, Hist. Auspurg. Confes. torn. ii. p. 1180. Bayle, Diet. art. 
Vergcrio. De Porta, lib. ii. cap. v. Gcrdesii Ital. Rcf. pp. 340' 350. 
He was employed before his death in publishing a collection of his 
works, the first volume of which was printed in 16G3. The Apologia 
pro Yergerio adversvs Casam, by Schclhorn, I have not seen. 

f See before, p. 211. 


declined this as well as the proposals made by the 
nuncio Delfino, who was sent into Switzerland to 
treat with him, Vergerio, and Zanchi. It was most 
probably the fears which he entertained for his 
safety, at a time when many individuals were sur- 
prised and carried off by force into Italy, that in- 
duced him to leave Chiavenna and repair to Lyons. 
But finding himself exposed to new dangers from 
the civil war, which then raged in France between 
the Catholics and Hugonots, he retired to Geneva, 
and soon after returned to Chiavenna, where he 
opened a private school at the desire of some young 
students, to whom he read daily two lectures, one on 
Homer and another on the Rhetorica ad Herennium. 
Encouraged by the reception which his brother had 
met with at the court of Vienna, he went there 
in 1567, and put to press his celebrated commen- 
tary on Aristotle's Art of Poetry, which he dedi- 
cated to the emperor Maximilian II. But the 
plague breaking out in that place, he returned again 
to Chiavenna, where he continued till his death on 
the 21st of February 1571, in the sixty-seventh 
year of his age. Castelvetro was one of the great 
literary ornaments of his country ; an acute and 
ingenious critic ; and extensively acquainted with 
Provencal and Italian poetry as well as with the 
classics of Greece and Rome, to which he added the 
knowledge of Hebrew.* 

* Muratori, Vita del Castelvetro : Opere Critiche, pp. 33 49. 
Tiraboschi, vii. 11701173. Freytag, Analect. Libr. Rar. p. 219. 
Jacopo, tbe son of Giamnaria Castelvetro, who accompanied his 
father and uncle into exile, paid a visit to Edinburgh in the year 1592. 
(MS. in Bibl. Jurid. Edin. A. 4. 18.) 


It is now time that we should quit the Alps, 
and take a rapid survey of the Italian churches 
formed in Switzerland, and other countries to the 

At Zurich the exiles from Locarno obtained from 
the senate the use of a church, with liberty to cele- 
brate public worship in their own language. They 
enjoyed at first the instructions of their townsman 
Beccaria ; but as he had come merely to supply 
their present necessities, after labouring among 
them for a few months, he resigned his place to a 
person of superior talents.* Returning to the 
Grisons, he took up his residence in the valley of 
Misocco, a part of the country which remained in 
a state of gross ignorance, and in which he was 
extremely useful, in the double character of school- 
master and preacher, until 1561 when he was ex- 
pelled through the agency of cardinal Borromeo ; 
after which he retired to Chiavenna.f 

Ochino was the person chosen to succeed Bec- 
caria at Zurich. After leaving his native country 4 
he had remained for some time at Geneva, where 
he acquired the esteem of Calvin ; $ but finding 
himself shut out from employment there, as the 

* Schelhorn, Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. iii. p. 1162. 

t Beccaria, who also went by the name of Canesa, continued to 
visit his flock in Misocco down to the year 1571. (Tempe Helve- 
tica, torn. iv. pp. 200 202. De Porta, ii. pp. 344 350 ; conf. 
p. 169.) 

^ See before, p. 192. 

Bunnanni Sylloge Epist. torn. ii. p. 230. Lettres de Calvin a 
Jaque de Bourgogne, pp. 36, 108. 



only language of which he was master was the 
Italian, and none of his countrymen had as yet 
come to that place, he repaired to Basle, for the 
purpose of printing some of his works, and from that 
went to Augsburg. The magistrates of this city 
appointed him Italian preacher with an annual 
salary of two hundred florins, partly to provide 
for his support, and partly to gratify the mer- 
chants and other inhabitants who knew that lan- 
guage. * He accordingly commenced preaching on 
the epistles of Paul, in the church of St. Anne, to 
numbers attracted by curiosity and by the report of 
his eloquence. For the sake of those who could 
not understand him his discourses were translated 
into German and printed. But the emperor Charles 
V., having come to Augsburg with his army in July 
1547, demanded that Ochino should be delivered 
up to him, upon which he fled, along with Fran- 
cesco Stancari, to Constance, whence he went by 
Basle to Strasburg. f Here he found several of 
his countrymen, and particularly his intimate friend 
Peter Martyr, with whom he repaired in the end 
of that year to England, upon the invitation of 

* Schelhom, in his interesting collections relating to the life and 
writings of Ochino, has published two decrees of the senate of Augs- 
burg; in one of which, dated October 20, 15-1.5, they give permission 
to " Frater Bernhardin Ochinus," along with his brother-in-law and 
sister, to reside in the city ; and in the other, dated December 3, 1545, 
they assign him the salary mentioned in the text as " Welscher Pre- 
dicant." (Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. iii. p. 1141-2.) 

f Ibid. pp. 994998, 1142-3. Salig, torn. ii. p. 419. Seckendorf, 
lib. iii. p. G13 ; et Supplcm. num. Ivi. 


archbishop Cranmer. Martyr obtained a professor's 
chair in the university of Oxford, while Ochino ex- 
ercised his talent of preaching in the metropolis. 
But in consequence of the change of religion pro- 
duced by the death of Edward VI., both of them 
retired in 1554, the former to Strasburg and the 
latter to Basle.* From this place Ochino was call- 
ed to be minister of the Locarnese congregation at 
Zurich, to the charge of which he was solemnly ad- 
mitted on the 13th of June 1555, after making an 
orthodox confession of faith, and swearing to ob- 
serve the rites of the Helvetian church and the or- 
dinances of its synods. f 

Soon after the settlement of Ochino, his country- 
man Martyr came to Zurich, to fill the chair of 
theology and Hebrew which had become vacant in 
the university by the death of the learned Conrad 
Pellican. ^ This was of great advantage to the Lo- 
carnese congregation. His interest with the magi- 
strates and pastors of the city was exerted in their 
behalf; they had the benefit of his sound advice in 
the management of their internal affairs ; and he 
preached to them as often as Ochino was unwell or 
absent. They must therefore have sustained a 
great loss by his death, which happened on the 12th 

Strype's Memorials, vol. ii. p. 189. Burnet's Hist, of the Ref. 
vol. ii. pp. 53, 250. Sanders, De Schism. Anglic, p. 3t9. 

+ Schelhorn, Ergotz. torn. iii. p. 11G2. 

J He came to Zurich in July 155G. (Melch. Adam, Vitie Exter. 
Theolog. p. 49. De Porta, ii. 228.) 

Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. p. 281. 


of November 1562, after an illness of a few days. 
Of all the Italian exiles none left behind him a 
fairer and better-earned fame than Peter Martyr. 
He possessed eminently the good qualities of his 
countrymen without the vices which have been as- 
cribed to them ; acuteness without subtlety, ardour 
without enthusiasm, and dexterity without cunning. 
In Italy he gave great offence by deserting the reli- 
gion of his ancestors and violating the monastic 
vow ; in England he was opposed to the champions 
of the catholic faith after the government had de- 
clared itself decidedly in their favour ; at the con- 
ference of Poissi he appeared in support of the pro- 
tectant doctrine, at a crisis when its adversaries 
trembled at the prospect of its success within the 
kingdom of France ; and at Strasburg he was in- 
volved in a dispute with those who maintained 
the peculiar sentiments of Luther on the eucha- 
rist with less moderation than their master had 
shown. But in none of these places did prejudice, 
strong as it then was, and loud as it often lifted its 
voice, whisper any thing unfavourable to the per- 
sonal character of Martyr.* His piety and learning 
were recommended by modesty, candour, and gentle- 
ness of manners. As an author his talents were al- 
lowed by his adversaries ; and in the reformed church 
his writings were by general agreement placed next to 

* Speaking of Bucer and Martyr, Walter Haddon exclaims : " O 
aureum par senum felicissima? memorise, quorum doctrinoe testes libri 
suntab illisconfecta?,morum tot habueruntapprobatores quotunquam 
convictores invenire potuerunt !" (Haddoni Lucubrationes, p. 22-1.) 


those of Calvin for judiciousness and perspicuity. 
His last years were spent happily in the most unin- 
terrupted harmony and cordial friendship with his 
colleagues in Zurich. Bullinger, who loved him 
as a brother, closed his eyes, and Conrad Gesner 
spread the cloth over his face, while the pastor and 
elders of the Locarnian church wept around his bed.* 
The year in which Martyr died was remarkable 
for the death of one of his countrymen, whose name 
obtained still greater notoriety than his, though 
on different grounds. This was Lelius Socinus, 
who had for a number of years been a mem- 
ber of the Locarnese congregation. f He was born 
at Sienna in 1525, and educated under the eye of 
his father Mariano Soccini, the younger, a celebrat- 
ed professor of law. Having testified a decided 
partiality to the Reformation, he left Italy in 15484 
partly from regard to his safety and partly from a 
desire to see and confer with the leading divines of 
the protestant church, whose writings he had read 

* Josias Simler, who had been appointed his colleague in the theo- 
logical chair, drew up his life in the Oratio de Vita et Obitu D. Petri 
Marty ris Vtrmilii, to which we have repeatedly referred. There is 
a beautiful letter in commendation of him, written soon after his death, 
by Wolfgang Haller to Zanchi. (Zanchii Epist. ut supra.) Beside 
the collection of epistles appended to his Loci Communes, a number 
of Martyr's letters were published by Gerdes, in his Scrinium Anti- 
auarium, torn. iv. 

f Illgen, Vita Lselii Socini, p. 18. Fueslin, pp. 356, 358. 

t Cornelio, Camillo and Celso, three of the brothers of Lelius, 
embraced the same sentiments, and followed him at a later period in- 
to Switzerland ; as did also his nephew Faustus. (Schelhorn, De 
Mino Celso, p. 35. Bock, ii. 576, 577, 621.) 



with delight. He came to Zurich at an early pe- 
riod, and lodged with Pellican, under whom he com- 
menced the study of the Hebrew language. Be- 
tween 1549 and 1551 he resided at Wittemberg, 
after which he returned to Zurich, where he spent 
the remainder of his life, with the exception of 
what was devoted to short excursions into France, 
Poland and Italy. I have already given my rea- 
sons for thinking, that, before leaving his native 
country, he had not adopted the creed which has 
obtained from him and his nephew the name of So- 
cinian ; and that his interviews with Camillo Re- 
nato at Chiavenna had great influence in leading 
his mind into that train of thinking.* Soon after 
his arrival in Switzerland he began, in his conver- 
sations and epistolary correspondence with learned 
men, to start doubts as to the commonly received 
opinions concerning the sacraments and the resurrec- 
tion, and afterwards concerning redemption and the 
trinity. But he uniformly proposed these in the 
character of a learner, not of a teacher or dispu- 
tant, and as difficulties which he was anxious to have 
solved, not sentiments which he held or wished to 
patronise. The modesty with which he propound- 
ed his doubts, together with the eager desire he 

* The reader may compare the opinions of Camillo, as already 
stated, with the doubts started by Socinus in his correspondence with 
Calvin. The letters of Socinus indeed are not extant, but the sub- 
stance of them is preserved in Calvin's replies. (Calvini Epist. pp. 52, 
57 ; Opera, torn, ix.) 


showed for knowledge, his courteousness, and the 
correctness of his morals gained him the esteem 
not only of Melanchthon and Bullinger but also 
of Calvin and Beza. If at any time he gave offence 
or alarm by the boldness with which he pushed his 
speculations into high and inscrutable mysteries, or 
by pertinaciousness in urging his objections, he 
knew how to allay these feelings by prudent con- 
cession and ample apologies ; and Calvin, after de- 
clining farther correspondence with him, was in- 
duced to renew it and to return a friendly answer to 
his doubts respecting the doctrine of the trinity.* 
In adopting this method toward the more learned 
reformers, it was probably the object of Socinus to 
ascertain what they could say against his opinions ; 
but in other instances he exerted himself in secretly 
making proselytes, and not without success, f He 
carefully concealed his sentiments respecting the 
trinity from the divines of Zurich.! On receiving 
warning from the Grisons, Bullinger, whose affec- 
tions he had gained, laid the matter before him, and 
in a very friendly manner advised him to remove 
the suspicions which had arisen as to his orthodoxy. 
Socinus protested that he agreed in all points with 
the church of Zurich, and complained of the reports 

* Colomesii Opera, p. 502. Conf. Calvini Epist. p. 57 ; Opera, 
torn. ix. 

f Zanchii Praef. in Libr. de tribus Elobim ; Opera, torn. i. 

+ Simler, Assertio Ortbod. Doctrinte de duabus naturis Cbristi, 
prsef. p. 4. 


circulated to his prejudice; but on being dealt with 
more closely, he owned that he had indulged too 
much in abstruse and vain speculations, promised 
that he would guard against this for the future and 
subscribed a declaration of his faith which was sa- 
tisfactory to Bullinger.* Julio da Milano, who was 
one of those from whom the information had come, 
and knew the correspondence which Socinus held 
with the antitrinitarians in the Valteline, was sus- 
picious of the sincerity of his professions ; and 
though he promised to use his influence to induce 
his brethren to accept of the pledge which had been 
given, implored Bullinger to watch over the purity 
of the Locarnese congregation. f After this Socinus 
was more circumspect ; we find no more noise made 
about his opinions during his lifetime ; and there is 
every reason to think that he continued to commu- 
nicate, as he had formerly done, with the Ita- 
lian church in Zurich. But after his death, the 
antitrinitarians who had enjoyed his confidence, 
thinking themselves no longer bound to secrecy, 
proclaimed that he was of their sentiments, and as 
a proof of this, circulated such of his writings as 
were in their possession.^ On hearing of his death, 

* Illgen, pp. 46 55. Bock, ii. 597602. 

t Fueslin, pp. 353359. 

J Bock has given an account of his writings. (Hist. Antitrin. torn, 
ii. pp. 635 654.) But Illgen has shown greater discrimination in 
distinguishing his genuine works from those which are supposititious, 
or were written by others. (Vita Laelii Socini, pp. 7 485.) His 
work written on occasion of the punishment of Servetus, and entitled 


his nephew Faustus Socinus came from Lyons to 
Zurich, and took possession of his papers, which he 
afterwards made use of in composing his own works. 
To this, however, he applied his mind at a period 
much later ; for he went immediately to Florence, 
where he spent twelve years in the service of the 
grand duke of Tuscany, not in preparing his mind 
for the task of illuminating the world, (as the Polish 
knight who wrote his life has asserted,) but in the 
idleness and amusements of a court, as he himself 
has acknowledged.* 

" Martini Bellii Farrago de hfereticis, an sint prosequendi, et omnino 
quomodo sit cum eis agendum," was first printed at Basle in 1553. 
The edition which I have examined wants the words " Martini Bel- 
lii Farrago" in the title, and was printed " Magdeburgi 1554." 
The following is a specimen of the style of reasoning : " Suppose one 
accused at Tubingen, who makes this defence for himself, ' I believe 
that Christopher is my prince, and I desire to obey him in all things; 
but as to what you say about his coming in a chariot, this I do not 
believe, but believe he will come on horseback; and whereas you say 
that he is clothed in scarlet, I believe that he is clothed in white ; 
and as to his ordering us to wash in this river, I believe that this 
ought to be done in the afternoon, and you believe it ought to be done 
in the forenoon.' I ask of you, prince, if you would wish your sub- 
ject to be condemned for this ? I think not ; and if you were present 
you would rather praise the candour and obedience of the man than 
blame his ignorance ; and if any should put him to death on this 
ground, you would punish them. So is it in the question under con- 
sideration. A certain citizen of Christ says, I believe in God the 
Father and Jesus Christ his Son," &c. (De Hsereticis, ike. p. 8.) 
No copy has for a long time been seen of his " Paraphrasis in Initi- 
um Evangelii S. Johannis, scripta in 1561 ;" which contained the 
famed interpretation of that passage, " In Evangelii princinio erat 
Dei sermo," &c. This Paraphrase must not be confounded with the 
" Explicatio Initii Evangelii Johannis," which was the work of his 
nephew Faustus. 

Bock, ii. 663, 66 1. 


The Locarnese exiles were surprised and dis- 
tressed at learning that so respectable a member of 
their church as Socinus had made defection from 
the evangelical faith ; but their surprise and distress 
were heightened by the discovery which was soon 
after made that their pastor had followed his ex- 
ample. Socinus had failed in making any impression 
on the mind of his countryman Zanchi ; * but his 
acuteness and address were too powerful for one 
who was now advanced in years, and who, though 
possessed of good talents, had read but little on the- 
ology, in consequence of his ignorance of ancient and 
foreign languages. Without supposing him to have 
been the slave of popularity, Ochino could scarce- 
ly have failed to be flattered with the crowds which 
flocked to his preaching in Italy ; and he must have 
felt the change, when, on coming to a foreign coun- 
try, his hearers were necessarily few, from the cir- 
cumstance of their being confined to those who un- 
derstood his native tongue. Add to this, that he 
had taken up the idea that the divines of Zurich de- 
spised him for his want of learning, and though this 
appears to have been groundless, we have his own 
authority for saying that it soured his mind.t In 
this state of his feelings, he was more ready to lis- 
ten to the objections of his artful townsman, though 
they struck at the root of sentiments which had 
been the favourite topics of his sermons, and in 
which he had gloried most when he left the church 

* Zanchii Opera, torn. i. prtef. ad finem. 

t Ochino, Dialogo, in Schelhorn, Ergotz., torn. iii. p. 2030. 


of Rome. In 1558 Martyr received a letter from 
Chiavenna, stating that Ochino and the brothers of 
Lelius Socinus were secretly undermining the doc- 
trine of the merit and satisfaction of Christ. Even 
according to his own explanation, Ochino had for- 
saken his former views on that point ; but the matter 
was accommodated by the friendship and prudence 
of Martyr.* About the same time he gave great of- 
fence to some of the divines of Switzerland by one 
of his books ; on which occasion also, though the 
work was printed without their knowledge and was 
far from pleasing them, the ministers of Zurich in- 
terposed in his favour.f But he forfeited their pro- 
tection, and exhausted their forbearance, by a work 
which he published in the course of the year after 
his countryman Martyr died. It was printed pri- 
vately, not at Zurich but at Basle, and consisted of 
thirty dialogues, divided into two parts.| In the 
first part he proves, in opposition to a Jew, that Je- 

* A letter which Ochino wrote on this occasion has been preserved 
by De Porta, torn. ii. pp. 392, 393. 

t Schelhorn, Ergdtzlichkeiten, torn. iii. p. 216*. The book refer- 
red to was" his Labyrinthi, in which he discusses the questions re- 
specting freewill and predestination. 

% Bernardini Ochini Senensis Dialogi XXX. Basilea? 1563. The 
work was printed from a translation into Latin by Castalio. It was 
afterwards disputed whether the work had undergone the examination 
which the laws prescribed before its being printed. It appeared on 
investigation that the Italian original in manuscript had been put 
into the hands of Amerbachius, the rector of the university, who, 
not understanding the language, gave it to Celio Secundo Curio, who 
denied that he had ever given it his approbation. (Schelhorn, Er- 
gdtzlichkeiten, torn. iii. pp. 1185 1188.) 


sus is the true Messiah ; and on the general argu- 
ment his proofs are strong, but when he comes to 
defend the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ he ar- 
gues feebly. It was, however, the second part of the 
work, in which he treats of polygamy and the tri- 
nity, which chiefly gave offence. The first of these 
questions is discussed in a dialogue between Teli- 
poligamus, an advocate of polygamy, and Ochinus. 
Every argument which had been urged in favour of 
the practice, or which the ingenuity of the author 
could devise, is put into the mouth of the former, 
who reasons at great length and with much elo- 
quence; while Ochinus replies at once with brevity 
and feebleness, and in the end materially, though 
not in so many words, yields the point in dispute to 
his supposed antagonist. The dialogues on the trinity 
are conducted in the same manner. Some writers in- 
sist that Ochino cannot be charged with maintain- 
ing polygamy and antitrinitarianism ; but I think 
it must be difficult for any person impartially to read 
the dialogues without coming to a contrary conclu- 

Certain citizens of Zurich, on a visit which they 
paid to Basle, were told in a public company that 
their town would soon become a sink of vile here- 
sies, as their ministers had already begun to write 
in favour of polygamy ; and on their resenting this 
as a calumny, they were silenced by the production 

* The dialogue on Polygamy has been published, and translated 
into our own language, among others, by the friends of that prac- 


of the work of Ochino, which had been lately pub- 
lished. Returning home, they called on the minis- 
ters to wipe off a disgrace which had fallen upon 
their order, and upon the whole city.* The divines 
of Zurich had, at a former period, been greatly dis- 
pleased at the conduct of such of the German re- 
formers as had countenanced the bigamy of the land- 
grave of Hesse,f which brought so much scandal on 
the whole evangelical body ; and they now felt both 
grieved and indignant at the conduct of their col- 
league. At the desire of the chief magistrate, they 
translated the dialogue on polygamy into German, 
and laid it, with remarks on the other dialogues, be- 
fore the senate, which came to the resolution of ba- 
nishing him from the territories of the canton. Be- 
ing unable to prevent this sentence, he petitioned for 
liberty to remain during the winter ; but this was 
refused, and he was ordered to depart within three 
weeks 4 

The banishment of an old man of seventy-six, 
with four young children, in the depth of winter, 
was a severe measure, calculated to excite compassion 
for the sufferer ; and had Ochino left this feeling 
to its own operation, it is probable that the magi- 
strates and ministers of Zurich would have incur- 
red public odium. But he published an apology 
for himself, which was answered by the mini- 

* Schelhorn, Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. iii. 2160, 2161. 
+ Fueslin, Epist. Ref. pp. 198200, 205. 

+ Schelhorn, Ergotz. iii. 2022, 2161, 2166, 21742179. Bock, ii. 
501 501. 


sters, and injured instead of helping his cause.* 
Beside the charges which he brought against the 
senate and pastors in general, he made a personal 
attack on Bullinger, whom he represented as one 
who disliked all foreigners, especially Italians, wish- 
ed to ruin the Locarnese congregation, had opposed 
his election to be their pastor, and persecuted him 
because he would not worship him as a pope or a 
god. f Now all this was so contrary to the charac- 
ter of that divine ; and his kindness to exiles, his 
care about the Italian church, | the tenderness with 
which he had treated Socinus, and the respect which 
he had shown for Ochino himself, were all so well 
known, that the ministers scarcely needed to use 
their sponge in wiping off these aspersions, which 
served only to throw suspicion on the charges which 
accompanied them. Nor was Ochino happier in 
the defence of his book. His chief apology for the 
manner in which he had conducted the argument 
was, that " truth does not stand in need of many 
words like falsehood, for it can defend itself." As 

* His apology, entitled " Dialogo, Favellatori Prudenza humana 
e Ochino," and the reply to it, entitled " Spongia adversus aspergi- 
nes Bernardini Ochini," are both published by Schelhorn in the 
third volume of his Ergo tzlichkei ten. Jt would appear from the re- 
ply that Ochino's apology was printed at that time, though Schelhorn 
thinks it was only circulated in manuscript. 

f Dialogo, ut supra, pp. 2021, 2029, 2030. 

X There is an excellent letter by him to the protestants suffering 
persecution in Italy, dated 6th January, 1561, and published by 
Fueslin. (Epist. Ref. pp. 445 456.) 

" La verita non ha bisogno di molte parole, sicome il mendacio ; 
imperoche la verita per se stessa si difendi, resiste, supera e trionfa ; 
ma il contrario e del mendacio." (Dialogo, ut supra, p. 2018.) 


if we were warranted to strip truth and place her 
on the pillory, to be insulted and pelted by the mob, 
while we stood by and contented ourselves with 
crying out, " Great is the truth and will prevail !" 
Ochino alleges, that one chief reason of the keenness 
with which the ministers of Zurich had persecuted 
him was, that in the obnoxious dialogues he had 
exposed their errors, and pointed out the defects of 
their boasted reformation. But, as any thing of 
this kind was put into the mouth of the interlocu- 
tor whom he opposed, he by this allegation virtually 
acknowledged the deception which he had practised, 
and deprived himself of his principal defence. * 
Whatever the faults of Ochino were, it is im- 
possible to contemplate the termination of the career 
of a man who had been held in such high estima- 
tion, without feelings of deep regret. On coming 
to Basle, he was given to understand by the magi- 
strates that his continuing there would be offensive. 
After residing for some time at Mulhausen, he set 
out with the view of joining his countrymen of the 
antitrinitarian persuasion who had gone to Poland. 

* Dialogo, ut supra, pp. 2030 2031. Schelhorn is of opinion that 
Ochino's Dialogue on Polygamy is not original, and that the greater 
part of it was borrowed from a dialogue on the same subject, written 
in defence of Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, and published in 1541 un- 
der the fictitious name of Hulderichus Neobulus. (Ergotzlichkeiten, 
torn. i. pp. 631 636 ; iii. 2136 2156.) There is certainly a striking 
coincidence between the extracts he has produced from this dialogue 
and that of Ochino, not only in argument but also in arrangement 
and expression. The charge of plagiarism is, however, weakened 
by the fact that Ochino was ignorant of the German language. 


But cardinal Borromeo, by express orders from the 
pope, wrote to cardinal Hosius to keep his eye upon 
him and prevent his settlement in that country, a 
service which was also given in charge to the nun- 
cio Commendone. In consequence of this, he was 
obliged to retire into Moravia, and died at Slacovia 
in the end of the year 1564, after having lost two 
sons and a daughter by the plague, which then 
raged in that country.* 

The Locarnese congregation continued to flourish, 
and was provided with a succession of pastors, until 
the emigration from Italy ceased, and it was no 
longer necessary to have the public service perform- 
ed in the language of that country.f Some of the 
most distinguished families at this day in Zurich 
are descended from these exiles, who first intro- 
duced into it the art of manufacturing silk, set up 
mills and dye-houses, and so enriched the city by 
their industry and ingenuity that within a short 
time it became celebrated beyond the limits of 
Switzerland. i 


Basle had long been distinguished as a resort of 
learned men, which induced many of the Italian pro- 
testants to select it as the place of their residence. 
I can only name a few of them. Paolo di Colli, the 
father of Hippolytus a Collibus, a celebrated lawyer 

* Bock, ii. 504508. 

f Hottinger, Hebretische Kirchengeschichte, torn. iii. p. 762-3 : 
Gerdesii Ital. Ref. p. 40. 

X Zschokke, Schweizerlands Geschichte, p. 258. Tempe Helve- 
tica, tom.iv. p. 173. 


and counsellor of the Elector Palatine Frederic IV., 
was a native of Alexandria in the Milanese, from 
which he fled in consequence of the discovery of a 
protestant conventicle which was kept in his house.* 
Gulielmo Grataroli, a physician of Bergamo, was 
equally distinguished by his piety, by his classical 
learning, and by his skill in his own art, on which 
he published several works, f Alfonso Corrado, a 
Mantuan, and said to have been the instructor of 
the wife of Alfonso duke of Ferrara, preached for 
some time in the Grisons, and published at Basle 
a commentary on the Apocalypse, " filled (says Ti- 
raboschi) with invectives and reproaches against 
the Roman pontiff.":): Silvestro Teglio and Francesco 
Betti, a Roman knight, were both learned men.| 
Mino Celso, a native of Sienna, is praised by Clau- 
dio Tolomeo, and an edition of the letters of that 
learned man was dedicated to him by Fabio Ben- 
voglienti.|| Having left his native country from 
love to the reformed religion, he became corrector of 
the press to Petrus Perna, a Lucchese and long a 

* Adami Vita? Jureconsult. p. 207. Tonjolae Monument. Basil. 
p. 124. 

t Thuani Hist, ad an. 1568. Beza? Epistola?, pp. 218,, 231. Speak- 
ing of Grataroli, Zanchi says : " In his native country he enjoyed an 
honourable rank and riches: his piety alone has impoverished him." 
(Epist. lib. ii. p. 390.) 

X Gerdesii Ital. Ref. pp. 231234. De Porta, ii. 35. Tiraboschi, 
vii. 383. 

Teglio translated into Latin the Principe of Macchiavelli. 
Betti was the author of a letter to the marchioness of Pescaro, and 
afterwards a friend of Faustus Socinus. (Schelhorn, Dissert, de 
Mino Celso, p. 62. Bock, ii. pp. 665, 817.) 

|| De Mino Celso Senensi, pp. 14 18. 


celebrated printer at Basle, " whose memory (says 
Tiraboschi) would have been still more deserving 
of honour, if he had not tarnished it by apostasy 
from the catholic religion."* Mino Celso was the 
author of a rare work against the capital punish- 
ment of heretics, in which he has treated the ques- 
tion with great solidity and learning.f But the 
most learned person among the refugees who re- 
sided in this city, was Celio Secundo Curio, whom 
we have already met with repeatedly in the course 
of this history. At his first coming from Italy, 
the senate of Berne placed him at the head of the 
college of Lausanne, from which he was translated 
in 1547 to the chair of Roman Eloquence in the uni- 
versity of Basle. On that occasion the degree of 
doctor of laws was conferred on him sitting, a mark 
of respect which had been shown to none but Bucer. 
But greater honour was done him by the numbers 
who came from all parts of Europe to attend his 
lectures. He received an invitation from the em- 

* Storia, vii. 1763. A Life of Perna was published at Lucca in 
1763, by Domenica Maria Manni. 

+ It is entitled " Mini Celsi Senensis de Hereticis capitali sup- 
plied non afficiendis. Anno 1584.". This is the edition I have 
consulted, but the work was first printed in 1577. The author 
mentions that he was led to treat the question in consequence of his 
finding it disputed among the protestants when he passed through 
the Grisons in 1569. In the work he points out the distinction be- 
tween the kingdom of Christ and secular kingdoms, examines the 
doctrine of scripture on the subject, produces testimonies from the 
fathers and reformers in favour of the opinion which he maintains, 
and shows that it is not inconsistent with the exercise of civil autho- 
rity in reforming and supporting religion. His reasoning is not con- 
fined to capital punishment. 


peror Maximilian to the university of Vienna, from 
Vaivod king of Transylvania to Weisseinburg, and 
from the duke of Savoy to Turin ; while the pope 
employed the bishop of Terracino to persuade him 
to return to Italy, on the promise of an ample sal- 
ary, with provision for his daughters, and on no 
other condition than that of his abstaining from in- 
culcating his religious opinions. But he rejected 
these offers, and remained at Basle till his death in 
1569.* Beside his writings on religious subjects, 
he published various works on grammar, and edi- 
tions of the Latin classics, accompanied with notes, 
by which he did great service to Roman literature 
and education. Of all the refugees the loss of none 
has been more regretted by Italian writers than 
that of Curio.f The testimonies which they have 
borne to him deserve the more attention on this 
ground, among others, that some of the most im- 
portant facts concerning the progress and suppres- 
sion of the Reformation in Italy have been attested 
by him ; and the greater part of the narratives of 
Italian martyrs proceeded from his pen, or were sub- 
mitted to his revision before they were published 
by his friend Pantaleon. The children of Curio, 
female as well as male, were distinguished for their 
talents and learning, and among his descendants we 

* Stupani Oratio de Ca?lio Secundo Curione, ut supra, pp. 3-17 

j- Tiraboschi, Storia, tomo vii. pp. 15j9 1561. Ginguene, Hist. 
Litter, d'ltalie, tome vii. pp. 233 23G. 


find some of the most eminent persons in the pro- 
testa nt church.* 

In taking leave of Curio, I am reminded of his 
amiable and accomplished friend Olympia Morata. 
On retiring into Germany, f she and her husband 
were kindly entertained by George Hermann, the 
enlightened counsellor of Ferdinand, king of the 
Romans, through whose influence they were offered 
an advantageous situation in the Austrian domin- 
ions, which they declined on account of its being 
incompatible with their religious profession. In 
Schweinfurt, an imperial town, and the native 
place of her husband, Olympia resumed her fa- 
vourite studies, but the muses were soon disturb- 
ed by the trumpet of war. The turbulent Al- 
bert, marquis of Brandenburg, having thrown his 
forces into Schweinfurt, was besieged by the Ger- 
man princes. During the siege, which was te- 
dious and severe^ Olympia was obliged to live in a 
cellar, and when the town was taken she escaped 
with great difficulty from the fury of the soldiers, 
and reached the village of Hainmelburg in a state of 
exhaustion. " If you had seen me (she writes to 
Curio) with my feet bare and bleeding, my hair 
dishevelled, and my borrowed and torn clothes, you 
would have pronounced me the queen of beggars, "ft 

* It is sufficient to mention here the names of Buxtorf, Grynseus, 
Freyus, and Werenfels. (Stupani Oratio, pp. 363, 381, 398. Ryhine- 
rus, Vita Sam. Werenfelsii, in Tempe Helvetica, torn. vi. p. 47.) 

t See before, p. 212. J Sleidan, tcm. iii. pp. 410, 449, 468. 

Olympian Moratte Opera, pp. 160162. Nolten, Vita Olympian 
Moratte, pp. 138147. 


In the mean time, her library, including her manu- 
scripts, was entirely destroyed. The counts of Er- 
bach showed her much attention during her adver- 
sity ; the Elector Palatine provided her husband 
with a place in the university of Heidelberg ; and her 
literary friends united in sending her books to fur- 
nish a new library. But her delicate constitution 
had received an irreparable shock from the agitation 
and fatigue which she had undergone, the symptoms 
of consumption became decided, and after a linger- 
ing illness, during which the sweetness of her tem- 
per and the strength of her faith displayed them- 
selves in such a manner as to console her husband 
who doated upon her, she expired on the 26th of 
October 1555, in the 29th year of her age.* She 
ceased not to the last to remember her ungrateful 
but beloved Italy, though every desire to return to 
it had been quenched in her breast from the time 
she saw the apathy with which her countrymen al- 
lowed the standard of truth to fall, and the blood of 
its friends to be shed like water in their streets. 
Before she was confined to bed, she employed her 
leisure time in transcribing from memory some of 
her poems, which she bequeathed to her friend Curio, 
by whom her works were published soon after her 
death. They consist of dialogues and letters in La- 
tin and Italian, and of Greek poems, chiefly para- 
phrases of the Psalms, in heroic and sapphic verse ; 

f Olympic Moratae Opera, pp. 167, 177, 185 192. Nolten, ut 
supra, pp. 148 163. 

2 D 


all of them the productions of a highly cultivated 
and pious mind.* 

Strasburg, one of the free cities of Germany, 
opened its gates to the Italian refugees. Paolo 
Lacisio of Verona, highly praised by Robortello 
for his skill in the three learned languages, came 
to it along with Martyr, and obtained the situa- 
tion of professor of Greek in the academy.-j- Je- 
ronimo Massario of Vicenza was about the same 
time admitted professor of medicine. This learn- 
ed man, beside what he wrote on the subject of 
his own art, was the author of a description of the 
mode of procedure in the court of inquisition at 
Rome. In this work he describes the trial of a fic- 
titious prisoner, whom he calls Eusebius Uranius, 
and puts into his mouth, during an examination 
which lasted three days, the principal arguments 
from scripture and the fathers against the church 
of Rome. Though it contains several facts, yet it is 
rather a controversial than an historical work, and 
much inferior in usefulness to the account of the 
Spanish inquisition by Gonsalvo4 The Italians were 

* Her works were published in 15.5.3, and went through four edi- 
tions in the course of twenty-two years. The first edition was dedi- 
cated to Isabella Manricha, and the subsequent ones to Queen Eliza- 

f Simler, Vita Martyris, sig. b iiij. Gerdes, Scrinium Antiq. torn, 
iii. p. 17. Colomesii Italia Orientalis, pp. 67, 688. 

X It is entitled, " Eusebius Captivus, sive modus procedendi in cu- 
ria Romana contra Lutheranos per Hieronymum Marium. Basileae." 
The dedication is dated, " Basilese iiii. Nonas Novembris, Anno 
1553." Colomies says that Hieronymus Marius is the disguised name 


not so numerous in Strasburg as to require the use 
of a church, but they met in private and enjoyed for 
some time the instructions of Jerom Zanchi.* This 
celebrated divine was a native of Alzano in the Ber- 
gamasco, and descended from a family distinguished 
in the republic of letters. f He was persuaded by his 
relation Basilio to enter a convent of Canons Regular, 
where he formed an intimate acquaintance withCelso 
Martinengho. They were associated in their stu- 
dies, in reading the works of Melanchthon, Bullin- 
ger, Musculus and other reformers, and in attend- 
ing the lectures of Martyr. They left Italy about 
the same time, and their friendship continued un- 
interrupted till the death of Martinengho. Having 
come to Geneva in 1553, by the way of the Gri- 
sons, Zanchi agreed to accompany Martyr into Eng- 
land ; but when about to set out for this country, 
he received an invitation to be professor of divi- 
nity in the college of St. Thomas at Strasburg. 

of Cselius Secundus Curio. (Des Maizeaux, Colomesiana, torn. ii. 
p. 594.) But Zanchi, in a letter to Musculus, expressly says that Mas- 
sario had gone to Basle to get the work printed. (Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. 
pp. 312, 317.) He died of the plague at Strasburg in 1564.. (Wolfii 
Note in Coloraesii Italia Orient, pp. 74, 75. Sturmii Institutiones 
Literate, p. 140. Torun. Boruss. 1586.) 

* Zanchii Epist. lib. i. p. 131. 

t His father Francesco is enumerated among the historians of 
Italy- (Tiraboschi, torn. vii. p. 369.) His second cousins Dionigi, 
Grisostomo, and Basilio Zanchi, were all learned men. The last was 
reckoned one of the finest Latin poets in Italy, and a mystery hangs 
over the manner and cause of his death. It is supposed that he died 
in prison, into which he had been thrown by pope Paul IV. (Ibid, 
pp. 11821184; comp. pp. 387 3S9, and Roscoe's Leo X. vol. i. 
p. 76.) 


This situation he filled with great credit and com- 
fort for several years, until, after the death of James 
Sturmius, the great patron of the academy, who 
had been his steady friend, he was involved in 
controversy with some of the keen Lutherans, led 
on by John Marbach, who took offence at him for 
opposing their novel notion of the omnipresence of 
the human nature of Christ, and teaching the doc- 
trines of predestination and the perseverance of the 
saints. * In the midst of the uneasiness which this 
quarrel gave him, he rejected the proposals made to 
him by the papal nuncio,f but accepted, in the end of 
the year 1563, a call from the Italian church at Chia- 
venna. ^ In the beginning of 1568 he came to the 
university of Heidelberg, where he taught during ten 
years ; but finding that the prejudice which he had 
encountered at Strasburg followed him to this place, 
he gave way to it a second time, and removed to 
Neustadt, where count John Casimir, the admi- 
nistrator of the Electorate Palatine, had recently 

He gives an account of this dispute in his letter to the Landgrave 
of Hesse. (Opera, torn. vii. pp. I 46. Zanchii Opera, torn. iii. epist. 
dedic. Conf. Melch. Adami Vita? Exter. Theolog. p. 149.) John 
Sturmius, rector of the academy of Strasburg, and celebrated for the 
elegance of his Latin style, wrote a philippic against the adversaries 
of Zanchi, to which Melchior Speccer replied in a letter published 
by Schelhorn. In this letter he says: " Alter um caput crimina- 
tionis tuse Zanchium, suavissimas tuas delicias, vitam tuam, et ani- 
mulam tuam continet." (Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. iii. p. 1136.) In a 
letter to Bullinger, Sturmius praises the learning, piety, courteous- 
ness, and placability of Zanchi. (Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. p. 287.) 

f Tiraboschi, vii. 360. 

jDe Porta, ii. 412421. 


endowed an academy. He died in 1590, during a 
visit which he paid to his friends at Heidelberg, 
in the 76th year of his age. * The moderation of 
Zanchi has been praised by writers of the Roman 
catholic church, though his love of peace did not 
lead him to sacrifice or compromise the truth. His 
celebrity as a teacher procured him invitations from 
the academies of Zurich, Lausanne and Leyden. 
John Sturmius, called the German Cicero, was wont 
to say, that he would not be afraid to trust Zanchi 
alone in a dispute against all the fathers assembled 
at Trent. Nor was he less esteemed as an author af- 
ter his death. His writings, consisting of commen- 
taries on scripture and treatises on almost all ques- 
tions in theology, abound with proofs of learning; 
but they are too ponderous for the arms of a modern 

Lyons, in the sixteenth century, was a place of 
resort for merchants from all parts of Europe. The 
Italian protestants in that city were so numerous, 
that the popes reckoned it necessary to keep agents 
among them to labour in their conversion. But so 

* Thuani Hist, ad an. 1590. Teissier, Eloges, torn. iv. pp. 99 103. 
Melch. Adami Vita? Exter. Theolog. pp. 148 153. A Life of Zan- 
chi by Sig. Conte Cav. Giambatista Gallizioli, a patrician of Berga- 
masco, was printed at Bergamo in 1785. (Tiraboschi, vii. 369.) 

+ His works were collected and printed in eight volumes folio, at 
Geneva, in 1613. Fridericus Sylburgius, celebrated as the author of 
several learned works, and the editor of many of the Greek and Ro- 
man classics which came from the presses of Wechel and Commelin, 
was for some time the servant of Zanchi, to whom he was indebted for 
his education. (Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. pp. 440, H2.) 


far were they from succeeding in this work, that 
Lyons came to be regarded at Rome as " the chief 
seat of heresy," and- all who visited it fell under sus- 
picion.* Several editions of the New Testament, and 
other religious books in the Italian language, pro- 
ceeded from the Lionese press. f In the beginning of 
1562, the Italians obtained permission to hold meet- 
ings for worship, and called Zanchi to be their mini- 
ster. The magistrates of Strasburg having refused 
to part with him, he, in the following year, receiv- 
ed another pressing invitation from the celebrated 
Viret, in the name of the protestant consistory at 
Lyons ; but he had previously engaged himself to 
the church of Chiavenna. When afterwards depriv- 
ed of the preacher whom they had chosen, Zanchi 
received a third call from his countrymen in Lyons, 
who were again disappointed 4 

Antwerp was in that age reckoned the emporium 
of the world, and frequented by men of all nations. 
The reformed doctrine had been early introduced into 
it, and continued to spread among the inhabitants in 
spite of the severities employed for its suppression. $ 

* Fontanini Biblioteca Italians, tom.i. p. 119. 

t Beside the translation of the New Testament by Massimo Teo- 
filo in 1551, an edition of Brucioli's was printed at Lyons in 1553, 
and an anonymous translation in 1558. Whether the Italian and 
French translation by Ludovico Paschali, the martyr, was printed at 
Lyons or Geneva is uncertain. (Schelhorn, Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. i. 
pp. 417419.) 

t Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. pp. 287, 375 378, 390. 

Gerdesii Hist. Reform, torn. iii. pp. 217,243. 


The Italian protestants satisfied themselves for many- 
years with meeting for worship along with the 
French church, which was erected in that city after 
the Netherlands threw off the Spanish yoke. But 
as their number had increased,* they resolved in the 
year 1580 to form themselves into a separate church, 
and invited their countryman Zanchi to be their 
pastor. With this invitation, though warmly second- 
ed by letters from the senate and ministers, he did 
not think it prudent to comply.f It is however pro- 
bable that they obtained Ulixio Martinengho J for 
their minister ; for we find Zanchi, about this time, 
Writing his opinion of that nobleman, at the desire of 
one of the ministers of Antwerp. "I know him well," 
says he, " and can, with a good conscience and be- 
fore the Lord, attest that he is incorrupt and well 
grounded as to doctrine, possesses no common share 
of learning, is unblamable in his life as a Chris- 
tian, zealous toward God, charitable toward his 
brethren, and distinguished for prudence and dex- 
terity in the management of business, which, as you 
well know, is a qualification very necessary in the 
rulers of churches. The only thing of which I 

* The Italian version of the New Testament by Brucioli was print- 
ed at Antwerp in the year 1538, accompanied with two prefaces, in 
which the advantages of reading the scriptures, and the propriety of 
translating them into the vulgar language of every people, are urged 
with great force. (Ergotzlichkeiten, torn. i. p. 408.) Schelhorn in 
this work has thrown much light on the life and writings of Brucioli. 

f Zanchii Epist. lib. ii. pp. 409 414, 424. 

t See before, p. 361. 


cannot speak is his gift for preaching, for I never 
heard him from the pulpit ; but he speaks Italian well. 
O that I could spend what remains of my life in the 
company of this excellent servant of God ! Believe 
ine, you will find him on acquaintance still better 
than he appears to be ; sincere, frank, kind, oblig- 
ing, courteous, and one who adds lustre to the no- 
bility of his birth by the correctness of his morals 
as a Christian. I am sure he will greatly please 
your illustrious prince." * 

Of all the foreign Italian churches, none was 
so distinguished as those which were established in 
Geneva and in London. But as their affairs were 
intimately connected with those of the Spanish re- 
fugees who settled in these cities, I shall introduce 
the account of them into the history of the progress 
and suppression of the Reformation in Spain. For 
that work I shall also reserve, the remarks I have 
to make on the influence which the suppression of 
the reformed opinions had on the national literature 
and character of the Italians, which are applicable, 
with a very little variation, to those of the Span- 

* Zanchius Joanni Taffino: Epist. lib. ii. p. 411; conf. p. 366. 


No. I. 

Extracts from a Treatise of Gabriele Falliculi, De liberali Dei Gra- 
tia, et Servo hominis Arhitrio* 

To the very reverend father in Christ and worthy bishop of Luna, 
Doctor Sylvestro Benedetto of Sarsina, with the greatest respect and 
veneration, Gabriele Valliculi, in Jesus the only son of the Virgin, 
wishes grace by which we are freely justified, and peace, according to 
what the angels announced at the nativity of Christ, Peace on earth 
and good will towards men. 

I am placed in a strait betwixt two, being doubtful whether I 
should keep silence respecting the free grace of God and the enslaved 
will of man, in which case death awaits me ; or whether I should 
treat of them, and run the risk of falling into the hands of the 
wicked. But the Holy Spirit teaches me that I should choose to fall 

" Nothing is known concerning the author of this book. It was 
printed at Nurenberg in the year 1536 ; but it had most probably 
been previously published in Italy. Melanchthon, in a letter to Veit 
Dietrich, written in 1530, says : '* In Italy there has arisen a new 
Luther, whose propositions I send you." (Epistolae, p. 432. edit. Lugd.) 
But we have no evidence that he refers to the author of this book. Val- 
liculi appears not to have been a man of talents, but of warm piety ; and 
most probably wrote this treatise after reading Luther's celebrated work Do 
Servo Arbitrio. Silvestro Benetto, to whom it is dedicated, was the ne- 
phew of Thomas, bishop of Sarsina and Luna, succeeded his uncle in the 
bishopric in 1497, and died in 1537. (I'gbelli Italia Sacra, torn. i. p. 556.) 
The extracts are taken from Riederer, Nathrichtcn zur Kirchen-Gclebr- 
t on mid Bucher-Geschichtc, torn. iv. p. 112, &c. Aldorf, 1768. 


into the hands of the wicked rather than to sin in the sight of God. 
Help me, O Lord, thou who art my hope, my refuge, my leader, my 
justification, my protector and defender. All my safety and confidence 
is placed in thee, not in human aid, much less in the enslaved will of 
man. In thee alone, O God, have I hoped, and on this account shall 
never be moved. But why am I not confounded when the Holy Spirit 
cries in my ear, What fruit hast thou of those things whereof thou 
are now ashamed? It is because I come to thee, my Christ, (not to 
the enslaved will of man,) and my countenance is enlightened and not 
covered with shame. When I am confounded by the enslaved will 
of sin in Adam, I will by the free grace of God fly from him to Jesus 
Christ my Saviour, and then I shall not be confounded. * * * * *Free 
and deliver me for thy righteousness sake, not for mine, but for thine : 
if I should say for mine, then I would belong to the number of those 
of whom the Holy Spirit has said, Being ignorant of God's righteous- 
ness they go about to establish a righteousness of their own. Being 
wholly depraved, I am not justified by my own, but by thy righteous- 
ness, and if not by mine but by thine, then is righteousness imputed 
to me by thy sovereign grace. 

* * " * * In the first place, then, we are of opinion that the human 
understanding, from its very nature, is incapable of comprehending 
any thing but what is carnal, or of distinguishing between good and 
evil except by a carnal discernment. Poverty, want, ignominy, tem- 
poral losses, disease, death, and all worldly misfortunes, it judges to 
be evil ; but wealth, glory, reputation, health, long life, and all 
worldly blessings, it reckons to be good. It knows nothing of a God 
merciful, angry, avenging, prescient, predestinating, and producing 
all things ; and this the apostle testifies when he says, For we have 
not received the spirit of this world, nor of reason, intellect and will, 
but of the free grace of God, that we may know the things which are 
given us by God, and not by the understanding and the will given, 
saith the apostle, on account of no preceding merit. If they be given, 
then they must be free, if free, wbat merit is there in them ? These 
things I have said, not in the learned words of human wisdom, nor 
in the dreams of the sophists, but by the teaching of the Spirit, com- 
paring spiritual things with spiritual. 

Qbserve to what length this blindness of heart and foolish- 
ness of understanding have proceeded. Men have adulterated the 
majesty of the immortal God, by shadowing out the image of perish- 
ing man, and not of man only, but of brute creatures also ; they have 
become corrupt in their own enslaved will, and stupidity of heart, 


and abominable in their pursuits, because human reason is wholly 
ignorant of God, and neither comprehends nor seeks after him ; and 
accordingly they have turned aside to unprofitable things, not per- 
ceiving the things of God. But as, by the enslaved will of man, sin 
abounded, so the free grace of God hath abounded much more; and 
as by the enslaved will of man, sin reigned to eternal punishment, 
so by the free grace of God the king of Salm reigns to life everlast- 
ing. And who is it then that reigns? Not the understanding or will 
of man, but our Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour, who has given us 
grace without any merit on our part. The plain truth is, that in 
respect of spiritual judgment the human understanding is en- 
tirely unacquainted with God, and though it were by day and by 
night incessantly employed in examining, perusing and ruminating 
upon the whole Talmud, the holy scriptures, and the books of phi- 
losophers and divines, both ancient and modern, it could never, with- 
out the assistance of the Spirit, comprehend truly his omnipotence, 
prescience, providence, mercy, or anger. It listens to discourses, pro- 
fesses to believe them, and hypocritically imitates them, though in 
reality it is quite ignorant of God, and looks upon heavenly things 
as fabulous. O the profound blindness of man ! as Jeremiah testi- 
fies, saying, The human heart is depraved and unsearchable, who 
can understand it ? The Lord searches the heart and reins, but the 
reason of man is incapable of discerning the things of heaven. 

No. II. 

Extracts from a treatise on the Benefit of Christ crucified, by Aonio 


* * " " God has fulfilled his promise in sending us that 
great prophet, who is his only begotten Son, that we might be freed 
from the curse of the law and reconciled to our God, and has inclined 
our hearts to every good work, in the way of curing the freewill 
and restoring in us the divine image which we had lost by the 
sin of our first parents, and causing us to know that under heaven 
there is no other name given to men by which they can be saved ex- 
cept the name of Jesus Christ. Let us fly then with the wings of a 

* These extracts are taken from a review of the original Italian in Rie- 
dcrer, Nachrichten, torn. iv. pp. 239 211. See before, p. 333. 


lively faith into his embraces, when we hear him inviting us in these 
words, Come unto me all ye who are troubled and heavy-laden, and 
I will give you joy. What consolation, what delight can be compar- 
ed to that which is experienced by the person, who, feeling himself 
overwhelmed with the intolerable weight of his iniquities, hears such 
grateful and tender words from the Son of God, who promises thus 
mercifully to comfort him and free him from so heavy a burden ! But 
one great object we should have in view is to be acquainted in good 
earnest with our weakness and miserable condition by nature ; for we 
cannot relish the good, unless we have tasted evil. Christ accordingly 
says, Let him that thirsteth come to me and drink ; as if he would 
imply that the man who is ignorant of his being a sinner, and has ne- 
ver thirsted after righteousness, is incapable of tasting how sweet the 
Lord is, and how delightful it is to think and to speak of him and to 
imitate his most holy life. When, therefore, through the instrumen- 
tality of the law, we are made to see our infirmity, let us look to the 
benign physician whom John Baptist points out to us with the finger, 
saying, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world ; 
who, I repeat, frees us from the galling bondage of the law, by abro- 
gating and annihilating its bitter curses and threatenings, healing all 
our diseases, reforming our freewill, bringing us back to our pristine 
innocence, and restoring in us the image of God. If, according to St. 
Paul, as by Adam all died, so by Christ we are all revived, then we 
cannot believe that the sin of Adam, which we have by inheritance, 
is of greater efficacy than the righteousness of Christ, which in like 
manner we have inherited through faith. Once indeed, man might, with 
some show of reason, have complained that without his own instru- 
mentality he was conceived and brought forth in iniquity, and in the 
sin of his first parents, through whom death has reigned overall men ; 
but now all occasion of complaint is removed, since eternal life, toge- 
ther with victory over death, is obtained, in the very same method, 
without any instrumentality of ours, by the righteousness of Christ 
which is imputed to us. Upon this subject St. Paul has written a 
most beautiful discourse in Romans v. 12 31. * * From these 
words of St. Paul, it is clear that the law was given in order that sin 
might be known, and that we might understand that it is not of 
greater efficacy than the righteousness of Christ, by which we are jus- 
tified in the tight of God ; for if Christ be more powerful than Adam, 
and if the sin of Adam was capable of rendering us sinners and chil- 
dren of wrath, without any actual transgression of our own, much 
moie will the righteousness of Christ be able to justify us and make 


us children of grace, without any good works on our part, works 
which cannot be acceptable, unless, before we perform them, we be 
made good and righteous through faith. 

* * * * Let us, my beloved brethren, embrace the righteousness 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and make it our own by means of faith. 
Let us seek establishment in holiness, not by our own works, but by 
the merits of Christ ; and let us live in joy and security ; for his 
righteousness destroys all our unrighteousness, and makes us good, and 
just, and holy in the sight of God, who, when he sees us incorporated 
with his Son by faith, does not regard us any more as children of 
Adam, but as his own children, and constitutes us heirs of all his 
riches along with his legitimate Son. 

No. III. 

Letters written by Aonio Paleario, to his wife and children, on the 
morning 1 of his execution* 

Article and Memorial, copied from a book of San Giovanni de' Fio- 
rentini di Roma. 

Monday, the 3d day of July, 1570. Our confraternity having 
been called on Sunday night, immediately preceding Monday the 3d 
day of July, 1570, in Tordinona,t Mr. Aonio Paleario of Veruli, 
resident on the hill of Valdenza, was delivered into its hands, con- 
demned to death in the course of justice by the ministers of the 
holy inquisition, who, having confessed and contritely asked pardon 
of God and of his glorious mother, the Virgin Mary, and of all the 
court of heaven, said that he wished to die a good Christian, and 
to believe all that the holy Roman church believes. He did not 
make any testament, except what is contained in the two under- 
written letters, in his own hand-writing, requesting us to send them 
to his wife and children at the hill of Valdenza. 

See before, p. 301. These letters, with the introductory memorial 
of the friars, were reprinted in the original Italian by Schelhorn, in his 
Dissertatio de Mino Celso Senensi, pp. 25 27, from Novelle Lettcrarie 
dell' Anno 1745, p. 328, &c. Firenze. 

f Torre Nona. 


Copies of the letters, verbatim. 

My Dearest Wife, 
I would not wish that you should receive sorrow from my plea- 
sure, nor ill from my good. The hour is now come when I must 
pass from this life to my Lord and Father and God. I depart as joy- 
fully as if I were going to the nuptials of the Son of the great King, 
which I have always prayed my Lord to grant me, through his good- 
ness and infinite mercy. Wherefore, my dearest wife, comfort your- 
self with the will of God, and with my resignation, and attend to the 
desponding family which still survives, training them up and pre- 
serving them in the fear of God, and being to them a father and a 
mother. I am now an old man of 70 years, and useless. Our chil- 
dren must provide for themselves by their virtue and their industry, 
and lead an honourable life. God the Father, and our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with your spirit ! 
Rome, 3d July, 1570. 

Thy Husband, 

Aonio Paleari. 

The other letter follows, verbatim. 

Lampridio and Fedro, beloved children, 

These my very courteous Lords do not relax their kindness to me 
even in tbis extremity, and give me permission to write to you. 
It pleases God to call me to himself by this means, which may appear 
to you harsh and painful ; but if you regard it properly, as happen- 
ing with my full resignation and pleasure, you will acquiesce in the 
will of God, as you have hitherto done. Virtue and industry I leave 
you for a patrimony, along with the little property you already pos- 
sess. I do not leave you in debt ; many are always asking when they 
ought to give. 

You were freed more than eighteen years ago ; you are not bound 
for my debts. When you are called upon to discharge them, have re- 
course to his excellency the Duke, who will not see you wronged. I 
have requested from Luca Pridio an account of what is due to me, 
and what I am owing. Take the dowry of your mother, and bring up 
your little sister as God will give you grace. Salute Aspasia and sis- 


ter Aonilla, my beloved daughters in the Lord. My hour approaches. 
The Spirit of God console and preserve you in his grace ! 
Rome, 3d July, 1570. 

Your Father, 
Superscription. Aonio Paleari. 

To his dearest wife Marietta Paleari, and to his beloved sons Lam- 
pridio and Fedro Paleari, at the hill of Valdenza, in the suburbs of 
St. Caterina. 

No. IV. 

Extract of a Letter written in prison by Pompon io Algieri to his 
friends in the University of Padua* 

To allay the grief you feel on my account, I am anxious to impart 
to you a share of my consolation, that we may rejoice together, and 
return thanks to the Lord with songs. I speak what to man will ap- 
pear incredible : I have found honey in the bowels of the lion, (who 
will believe it?) pleasantness in a dismal pit, soothing prospects of 
life in the gloomy mansions of death, joy in an infernal gulf ! 
Where others weep, I rejoice; where others tremble, I am strong; 
the most distressing situation has afforded me the highest delight, so- 
litude an intercourse with the good, and galling chains rest. But in- 
stead of this deluded world believing these things, it will be rather dis- 
posed to ask in an incredulous tone : " How, think you, will you be 
able to endure the reproaches and threats of men, the fires, the snow- 
storms, the crosses, the thousand inconveniences of your situation ? 
Do you not look back with regret on your beloved native land, your 
possessions, your relations, your pleasures, your honours ? Have you 
forgot the delights of science, and the solace which it yielded you 
under all your labours ? Will you at once throw away all the toils, 
watchings, and laudable exertions devoted to study from your child- 
hood ? Have you no dread of that death which hangs over you, as if, 
forsooth, you had committed no crime ? O foolish and infatuated man, 
who can by a single word secure all these blessings and escape death, 

Translated from the original Latin, in Pantaleon, Rerum in Eccles. 
Gest. pp. 329332. 


yet will not ! How rude to be inexorable to the requests of senators 
the most august, pious, just, wise, and good ; to turn an obstinate ear 
when men so illustrious entreat you !" 

But hear me, blind worldlings, what is hotter than the fire which 
is laid up for you, and what colder than your hearts which dwell 
in darkness and have no light ? What can be more unpleasant, per- 
plexed and agitated than the life you lead, or more odious and 
mean than the present world ? Say, what native country is sweeter 
than heaven, what treasure greater than eternal life? Who are my 
relations but those who hear the word of God ? and where shall riches 
more abundant or honours more worthy be found than in heaven ? 
Say, foolish man, were not the sciences given to conduct us to the 
knowledge of God, whom if it so be we know not, our labours, our 
watchings, and all our painful exertions are doubtless utterly lost. 
The prison is severe indeed to the guilty, but sweet to the innocent, 
distilling on the one side dew and nectar, sending forth on the other 
milk and abundance of all things. It is a desert place and wild, but 
to me a spacious valley, the noblest spot on earth. Listen to me, un- 
happy man, and judge whether there be in the world a more pleasant 
meadow. Here kings and princes, cities and people, are presented 
to my view. Here I behold the fate of battles ; some are vanquished, 
others victorious, some trodden to dust, others lifted into the triumphal 
car. This is Mount Sion, this is heaven. Jesus Christ stands in the 
front, and around are the patriarchs, prophets, evangelists, apostles, 
and all the servants of God : he embraces and cherishes me, they en- 
courage me, and spread the sacrament; some offer consolations, while 
others attend me with songs. Can I be said to be alone, while sur- 
rounded by so many and so illustrious attendants ? Here I find an 
intercourse which affords me example as well as comfort; for in that 
circle I behold some crucified and slain, others stoned and sawn 
asunder, some roasted, others fryed in the pan and in brazen vessels, 
one with his eyes dug out, another with his tongue cut off, one be- 
headed, another maimed of hand and foot, some thrown into the 
fiery furnace, others left a prey to the ravenous birds. Here I have 
no fixed habitation, and seek for myself in the heavens the first New 
Jerusalem which presents itself. I have entered upon a path which 
conducts to a pleasant dwelling, and where I doubt not to find wealth, 
and relations, and pleasures, and honours. Those earthly enjoyments 
(all of them shadowy, and fading, and vanity of vanities, without the 
substantial hope of a coming eternity) which the supreme Lord was 
pleased to bestow upon me, have been made my companions and so- 



lace. Now they bring forth good fruits. I have burned with heat, 
and shuddered with cold, I have earnestly watched day and night ; 
and now these struggles have come to a close. Not an hour nor a 
day has passed without some exertion : the true worship of God is 
now engraven on my heart, and the Lord has filled me with joy and 
peacefulness. Who then will venture to condemn this life of mine, 
and to pronounce my years unhappy? Who so rash as to declare his 
labours lost who has found the Lord of the world, who has exchang- 
ed death for life ? " The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, there- 
fore will I seek him." If then to die be to begin a blessed life, why 
does rebellious man cast death in my teeth ? O how pleasant is that 
death which gives me to drink of the cup of God ! What surer earn- 
est of salvation than to suffer as Christ suffered ! * * * * * 
Be comforted, my most beloved fellow-servants of God, be comforted 
when temptations assail you; let your patience be perfect in all 
things, for suffering is our promised portion in this life ; as it is writ- 
ten, " The time cometh, when he who slays you will think he doeth 
God service." Tribulation and death therefore are our signs of elec- 
tion and future life: let us rejoice and praise the Lord that we are 
innocent ; for it is better, if such be the will of God, that we suffer 
for well-doing, than for evil-doing. We have a noble pattern in Christ, 
and the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, whom the 
children of iniquity have slain. Behold we call those blessed who 
bore up under their trials. Let us rejoice in our innocence and 
righteousness : God will reward our persecutors, for vengeance is his. 
As to what they say concerning the Venetian nobility and senators, 
extolling them as the most august, wise, just, pious, pacific, and of the 
highest character and fame, I give this its due weight. The Apostle 
teaches us, " that we ought to obey God rather than man." And ac- 
cordingly, after first giving service to God, then and not till then are 
we bound to obey the official powers of this world. I grant they are 
august, but as yet they require to be perfected in Christ ; they arejust, 
but the foundation and seat of justice, Jesus Christ, is wanting; they 
are wise, but where is the beginning of wisdom, the fear of God ? 
they are called pious, but I could wish they were made perfect in Chris- 
tian charity ; they are called good, but I look in vain for the founda- 
tion of goodness in them, even God the supreme good ; they are called 
illustrious, but they have not yet received our Saviour, the Lord of 
glory. Lift up your eyes, my dearly beloved, and consider the ways 
of God ; the Lord has lately threatened with pestilence, and this he 
has done for our correction : if wc do not receive him he will un- 

2 E 


sheath his sword and attack those who rise up against Christ, with 
sword, pestilence, and famine. These things, brethren, have I writ- 
ten for your consolation. Pray for me : I salute with a holy kiss my 
masters Sylvio, Pergula, Justo, along with Fidelis a Petra, and the 
person who goes by the name of Laelia, whom though absent I 
knew, and the Lord Syndic of the university, with all others, whose 
names are written in the book of life. 

Farewell, all my fellow-servants of God ; farewell in the Lord, and 
pray earnestly for me. From the delectable garden of the Leonine 
prison, 21st July 1555, the most devoted servant of the faithful, the 

Pomtonius Algier. 

No. V. 

Extract of a Letter from Carnesecchi to Flaminio.* 

I have received your letter, in which you enlarge both in the way 
of instruction and admonition on those topics which we have often 
discussed in conversation ; and I return you my sincere thanks, as in 
duty bound, for the affection and good will you have displayed to- 
wards me. When I reflect on the bitter animosities, and furious dis- 
cord, which these disputes on ecclesiastical matters have engendered, 
and on the license with which the contending parties have inveighed 
against each other, forgetful of their own credit, as well as the good 
of others, and violating the duties of charity, which requires us to ab- 
stain from offending any professed Christian, I am charmed with the 
mildness and moderation which you have shown, never casting abuse 
upon your adversaries, or wounding them with cutting sarcasm, but 
contenting yourself with pronouncing their sect execrable ; and, in 
full possession of your temper, commending such of them as are dis- 

" This letter is printed at length in Schelhorn, .Amcenitates Historias 
Ecclesiastical et Literariae, tom. ii. pp. 155 170. It is the only production 
of Carnesecchi's pen which I have met with. As my object is merely to 
give the reader an idea of his character, I have not inserted that part of 
the letter which enters into the merits of the controversy respecting the 


languished for their talents, and superior to the rest in modesty and 
manners. Conduct like this was highly approved of among the an- 
cients, and has adorned our own age, as well as that which preceded 
it. We are told that Jovianus Pontanus commended the studies 
of all, and never abused the character of any man, either in public 
or private. M. Sabellicus would not revenge himself upon his 
opponents by retorting even their most violent and malevolent taunts, 
although he was by no means deficient in the graces of a copious and 
fine style ; a display of good nature which has led some over-rigid 
critics to form too low an estimate of his talents. Pomponius Laetus, 
an inhabitant of Rome, did not trouble himself with entering the 
lists against those who had unjustly attacked him with their calum- 
nies. Not to mention others in our own times, are not Nicholaus 
Leonicus and Jacobus Sadoletus striking examples of modesty and 
forbearance? But with respect to the Philelphi, the Poggii, the 
Vallae and others, (for I will not mention by name any of the present 
age,) what contumelies have they not thrown out against their an- 
tagonists in defamation of their character? You, however, content 
yourself with barely mentioning the names of those persons who in 
your opinion have departed from the purity of religion, and treat the 
points you condemn with accuracy and mildness. As to the question 
itself, I will, for the purpose of enabling us to consider it with greater 
attention, state, with your leave, what has occurred to me in opposi- 
tion to your sentiments, and expect that you will take this in good 
part, observing, according to your piety and learning, whether I have 
adduced any thing in support of the other side. As in all discussions 
of this kind, the discovery of the truth ought to be the grand aim, 
you should remove every obstacle that stands in the way of its attain- 
ment, all respect to customs, prescription of time, and authority of 
human institutions, and pressing on to this one point, steadily fix 
your eyes upon its light, that you may not, by walking in darkness, 
stumble into error. You recommend me to read certain volumes, at 
once numerous and bulky, but afterwards inform me, and I take it 
exceedingly kindly in you, that in order to spare trouble on my part 
you think it sufficient to rest your cause solely on the authority of 
Irensus, an ancient and highly approved writer. To have sought out 
and perused all the books you named, would have indeed proved a 
difficult and inconvenient, and even Herculean labour. If, as be- 
comes an impartial judge, I should read the writings of the opposite 
party in order to know the arguments they make use of in their defence, 


how could I ever discharge so weighty a task ? For you well know the 
consequences of contentions, disputes, and altercations such as these, 
when hoth parties wish to be victorious; how they search out every 
argument that may confute their opponents, and devise whatever may 
favour or assist their own cause. It is well known that this itch of 
disputation is equally strong on both sides in perverting truth as 
well as in overthrowing falsehood ; and hence it happens, that even 
truth, by being mixed up with artifice, has become suspected, as if by 
this crafty policy the understanding were depraved, and the simplicity 
of truth destroyed. Let us then pass over these, and giving to each 
his due, proceed to weigh with diligence and accuracy the testimony 
of those ancient writers who have treated the subject with most judg- 
ment and impartiality. You had no occasion, in writing to me, to esta- 
blish the authority cf Irenreus's works, or to commend the author so 
warmly ; for I know well the universal esteem in which he and his 
writings are held, and am myself an admirer of both. I often regret 
that his works have not reached us in the original Greek, which, as 
appears from the extracts inserted in the books of Eusebius, Epipha- 
nius, and others, he seems to have written with much fluency and 
elegance. I am astonished that a certain learned writer has express- 
ed a doubt, whether he wrote in Greek. As to those of his writings 
which have been translated into Latin, (such as it is,) I cannot vouch 
for their fidelity to the original, but certainly the style is by no means 
good or chaste ; for the translator makes use of unmeaning words, 
and bis foreign idiom necessarily mars the understanding of the 
reader. But in this, as in many other cases, we must take what we 
can get, not what we would wish ; and in those books which have 
been published, there is a good deal of discussion on subjects of great 
importance. Let lis for a moment examine the excerpt from the 
fourth book of Irenseus against heretics. It is necessary, however, 
for the understanding of whatever is said, that we know the design, 
the occasion, and the subject ; for otherwise the mind of the reader 
will wander, and be unable to receive any certain information. For 
example, Christ says, " Without me ye can do nothing ;" to commit 
sin is to do something; does it therefore follow that without Christ 
no sin is committed ? Again he says, " Give to every one that ask- 
elh ;" are we therefore to give some heretic or other what he may ask 
for a base and villainous purpose ? I could bring forward many ex- 
amples of this kind, but these will explain what I mean. * * * 

Nor does the universal agreement of the catholic church concerning 
ceremonies, among the Greeks, the Armenians, the Indians, and, if 


you please, the Ethiopians, help the matter; for the frequency or ex- 
tent of its use is no defence of a corrupt practice. It is evident that 
in every nation carelessness in preserving truth and pure doctrine, 
ignorance of the polite arts, and the turhulency of the times have ob- 
structed the fruits of true religion and piety. -Consider, I pray you, 
what is now the universal opinion concerning a barbarous style? 
Shall we condemn those who exploded the rude diction which had 
long been in use, and introduced a better and more elegant one in its 
room ? But I need not enlarge on this subject to one of your learn- 
ing. The rest of your letter consists in several accusations, which, 
though in some respects severe, I do not impute to you, but to those 
who prefer defending falsehood to embracing truth. These per- 
sons, if they had common sense, would consider that no reproaches 
are more futile and ridiculous than those which recoil, or at least 
are easily thrown back on the head of the author. In your letter you 
censure with great severity and justice the obstinacy of those who 
remain blindly attached to their own opinion, cloak their pride under 
a false zeal, arrogantly accuse general and established customs, and, 
as you add, are actuated by fears of losing worldly dignities and 
emoluments. All of these are pestilent things ; and I grant that 
general and ancient custom ought to be retained, lest the very 
foundations be sapped ; but this is the very question in dispute, and 
it remains still undetermined, Who have transgressed or opposed the 
catholic agreement ? You say that some have their minds puffed up 
with contumacy, and are blinded by zeal, too confident in their bold- 
ness, ambitious, avaritious. Let it then, I would say, be determined 
who are the individuals chargeable with this. We know too well how 
bitterly each party reproaches the other, and how far this evil has 
proceeded in these dissolute and undisciplined times ; and according- 
ly we should consider what is true, proper and laudable, attending 
to what ought to be done, not to what has been done by this or that 
person. Thus after deliberation, let us pronounce our sentiments 
concerning the subject, and then, if we think proper, concerning the 
persons. Of these, as I have already signified, I will say nothing, 
either in the way of accusation or defence; for what Horace said of 
the Trojan war, may, if I am not mistaken, be justly applied to this 
controversy : 

IliaCOS intra muros peccatur ct extra. 

A man of probity will consider what he says of another, lest he 


spread abroad any ill-founded reports. I am led to mention this 
from your naming Bucer, of whom you seem to speak from the re- 
port of some malevolent person, and not from your own knowledge. 
I have heard many and various accounts, both respecting the man, and 
that affair in reference to which you wish to depreciate him in my 
esteem. Many letters celebrate the piety and learning of Bucer ; and 
it is well known how zealous he has been in healing the wounds of 
the church. 1 have been informed that he is of a mild temper, and 
by no means pertinacious, litigious, or severe, although so firm in the 
cause of the truth as not to be drawn from its defence by any respect 
either to dignity, fortune, or life. But, as I have already said, we are 
not to judge of persons but of things. You have my reply to your 
letter, less accurate, and perhaps less to your mind, than you expect- 
ed. I hope you will take it in good part, and that it will not pre- 
vent you from prolonging the discussion, if you think proper, and con- 
tinuing to repeat your instructions and advices. For in the cool dis- 
putations of friends, though they should happen to differ in senti- 
ment, the truth is often discovered, and, contrary to expectation, is 
elicited by the very contention, as fire by the collision of flints. 

No. VI. 

Letter from Otympia Moratu to Madonna Cherubina Orsini.* 

My Dearest Lady Cherubina, 
To the letter I have already written you, I wish to add a few lines 
for the purpose of exhorting you to pray to God that he would give you 
strength, lest, through fear of those who can kill the body only, you of- 
fend that gracious Redeemer who has suffered for our sakes ; and that 
he would enable you gratefully to confess him, according to his will, 
before this perverse generation, and ever to keep in remembrance the 
words of David, " I hate the congregation of sinners,and will not sit in 

" Translated from the original Italian, in Olympian Moratie Opera, 
pp. 218222. Basiled, 1580. 


the company of the wicked." I am weak, you will be apt to say, and 
cannot do this. Oh do you imagine that so many saints and prophets, 
that so many martyrs, even in our day, have remained firm in their 
own unaided virtue, and that it was not God who gave them strength ? 
Then consider that those whose weakness is mentioned in the scrip- 
tures did not continue always infirm. St. Peter's denial of his Mas- 
ter is not recorded as an example for our imitation, but in order to 
display the great mercy of Christ, and to show us our own frailty, not 
to excuse it. He soon recovered from his weakness, and obtained 
such a degree of strength, that he afterwards rejoiced to suffer for the 
cause of Christ. From these considerations we should be induced, 
when we are sensible of our infirmity, to apply by prayer to the phy- 
sician, and request that he would make us strong. Provided we pray 
to him, he will not fail to perform his promise ; only he does not wish 
us to be idle and unemployed, but to be continually exercising our- 
selves with that armour of which St. Paul speaks in the sixth chapter 
of his epistle to the Ephesians. We have a powerful enemy who is 
never at rest, and Christ by his example has showed us that he is to 
be overcome by prayer and the word of God. For the love of Christ, 
then, who has redeemed you with his precious blood, I entreat you 
to study diligently the holy scriptures, praying that the Lord would 
enable you to understand them. Mark how frequently and with 
what ardour the great prophet David prays, " Lord, enlighten me 
teach me thy ways renew in me a clean heart;" while we, as if we 
were already perfect, neither study nor read. Paul, that illustrious 
apostle, tells the Philippians, that he did not yet understand, but was 
still engaged in learning. We ought to be advancing from day to day 
in the knowledge of the Lord, and praying all the time with the apos- 
tles that our faith may be increased, and with David, " Hold up my 
steps in thy ways." We have ourselves to blame for our weakness, 
because we are continually excusing it, and neglecting the remedies 
which Christ has prescribed, viz. prayer and his word. Do you 
think that, after having done and suffered so much from love to you, 
he will not fulfil the gracious promises he has made by granting your 
petitions for strength ? Had he not intended to bestow it, he would 
not have invited you by so many promises to ask it ; and lest you 
should entertain any doubts on this point, he has sworn that all that 
you request of the Father in his name shall be given you. Nor does 
he say that he will give this or that thing, but every thing you soli- 
cit ; and St. John declares that he will bestow whatever we ask ac- 
cording to the will of God. Now is it not agreeable to his will that 


we desire of him faith and fortitude sufficient to enable us to confess 
him ? Ah ! how backward are we, and how ready to excuse ourselves ! 
We ougbt to acquaint the physician with our disease, in order 
that he may cure us. Oh, is it not the proper office of Christ to 
save us from our iniquities, and to overcome sin ? Knock, knock, 
and it shall be opened to you. Never forget that he is omnipotent, 
and that, before your hour is arrived, no one shall be able to touch a 
hair of your head ; for greater is he that is in us, than he that is in 
the world. Do not be influenced by what the majority do, but by 
what the godly have done, and still do to this day. May the word 
of the Lord be a lamp to your feet, for if you do not read and listen 
to it, you will fall before many stumbling-blocks in the world. I 
beg you to read this letter to Vittoria, exhorting her by precept and 
by example to honour and confess God : read also along with her the 
holy scriptures. Entreat my dear lady Lavinia to peruse frequently 
a portion of them, and so she will experience the efficacy of the word 
of Cod. The Lord knows that I have written these exhortations 
with sincere concern for your salvation, and I beg of you to read them 
with the same feeling. I pray God that you may be enlightened and 
fortified in Chiist, so as to overcome Satan, the world, and the flesh, 
and to obtain that crown which is given only to those who overcome. 
I have no doubt but that, in following my admonitions, you will find 
the Lord strengthening you. Do not consider that it is a woman 
oidy who is giving you advice ; but rest assured that God, speaking 
by my mouth, kindly invites you to come to him. All false opi- 
nions, all errors, all disputes arise solely from not studying the 
scriptures with sufficient care. David says, Thou hast made me 
wiser than all my enemies by thy law. Do not listen to those who, 
despising the commandments of God and the means which he has 
appointed for their salvation, say, If we be predestinated, we shall 
be saved, although we neither pray nor study the Bible. He who is 
called of God will not utter such blasphemy, but will strive to obey 
God, and avoid tempting him. The Lord has done us the honour 
and the benefit to speak to us, to instruct and console us by his 
word, and should we despise such a valuable treasure? He invites 
us to draw near to him in prayer ; but we, neglecting the opportu- 
nity, and remaining inactive, are busied with disputes concerning the 
high counsels of God, and the things which are to come to pass. 
Let us use the remedies he has prescribed, and thus prove ourselves 
to be obedient and predestinated children. Head and observe how 
highly Cod wculd have his word prized. Faith, says Paul, comes by 


hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Charity and faith, I 
assure you, would soon become cold, were you to remain idle. And 
it is not enough, as Christ remarks, to have begun ; we must per- 
severe to the end. Let him that stands, says Paul, take heed lest he 
fall. I entreat you, for the love of Christ, not to confine yourself to 
the maxims of men, but to conduct yourself according to the word of 
God ; let it be a lamp to your feet, otherwise Satan will be able to 
deceive you in a variety of ways. Deliver these admonitions to my 
sister also. Never consider who the person may be that speaks to 
you, but examine whether she speaks the words of God or her own 
words ; and provided the scriptures, and not the authority of man, 
be your rule, you will not fail to discover the path of duty. Ask, 
seek, knock, and it will be opened to you. Draw near to your heavenly 
spouse, contemplating him in the Bible, that true and bright mirror, 
in which shines all the knowledge which is necessary for us. May 
God, for the sake of Christ, grant that I have not written in vain. 
The pain in my breast has been considerably increased by the exer- 
tion, but I sincerely wish I were able by my death to assist you and 
others in the things which pertain to salvation. Do me the favour 
to send me a single line, to acquaint me with the state of your 

Your Olymfia. 

No. VII. 

Letter of Olympia Morata to Celio Secundo Curio. 

My Dearest Father Celio, 
You may conceive how tenderly those who are united by true, that 
is, Christian friendship, feel for one another, when I tell you that the 
perusal of your letter drew tears from my eyes; for on learning that 
you had been rescued from the jaws of the grave, I wept for joy. 
May God long preserve you to be a blessing to his church. It grieves 
me much to hear of the indisposition of your daughter, but I comfort 
myself with the hopes you entertain of her recovery. As to myself, 
my dear Celio, I must inform you that there are now no hopes of my 
surviving long. No medicine gives me any relief. Every day, and 
indeed every hour my friends look for my dissolution. It is probable 


this may be the last letter you will receive from me. My body and 
strength are wasted ; my appetite is gone ; night and day the cough 
threatens to suffocate me. The fever is strong and unremitting, and 
the pains which I feel over the whole of my body, deprive me of 
sleep. Nothing therefore remains but that I breathe out my spirit. 
But so long as life continues, I will remember my friends, and the 
benefits I have received from them. I return my warmest thanks to 
you for the books you sent me, and to those worthy men who have 
bestowed upon me such valuable presents. Had I been spared I 
would have shown my gratitude. It is my opinion that my departure 
is at hand. I commend the church to your care ; O let all you do 
be directed to its advantage. Farewell, excellent Celio, and do not 
distress yourself when you hear of my death ; for I know that I shall 
be victorious at last, and am desirous to depart and be with Christ. 
My brother, about whom you inquire, is making proficiency in his 
studies, though he needs the spur rather than the curb. Heidelberg 
seems deserted on account of the numbers who have died of the 
plague or fled for fear of it. My husband sends his compliments to 
you. Salute your family in my name. I send you such of the poems 
as 1 have been able to write out from memory since the destruction 
of Schweinfurt. All my other writings have perished. I request that 
you will be my Aristarchus, and polish them. Again farewell. 
From Heidelberg." 

* Curio received this letter by the same post which brought him the in- 
telligence of the death of the amiable writer. It was the last exertion she 
made. On looking over what she had written, she perceived some mis- 
takes, and insisted on transcribing it; but, after making the attempt, was 
obliged to desist, and said to her husband, with a smile which almost un- 
nerved him, " I see it will not do !" 


Acurio, Joseph, 46. 
Albigemes. See Waldenses. 
Alciati, Paolo, 154, 302, 374, 375. 
Akander Cardinal, 49, 84., 88. 
Alexander VI., Pope, 8, 20. 
Alexandrine Cardinal. See Pius V. 
Algieri, Pomponio, 279-280, 415. 
Altieri, Baldassare, 83, 94, 95, 98, 
100,143-146, 151, 220-221., 370. 

Alva, Duke of, 355. 
Ambrogio, Teseo, 45, 46. 
Ancona, Progress of Reformation in, 

Andrew of Asolo, 47. 

Angelo, Frate, 298, 347. 

Angole, Baron Bernardo di, 273. 

Ann'ius of Viterbo, 42. 

Antitrinitarianism in Italy, 148-158. 
In the Grisons, 365-376. 

Arabic language, studied in Italy, 


Badia, Cardinal, 84, 302. 
Baplista Mantuanus, 16. 
Bartoccio, Bartolommeo, 304, 305. 
Beccaria, John, 132, 133, 239, 248, 

Bcllinchctli, Francesco and Alexan- 
dre , 348, 349. 
Bcmbo, Cardinal, 9, 10, 57, 73, 112- 

115, 120, 135,136, 288, 302. 
Bcncdeiti. See Locarno, Bcnedetti. 

Bercttari de'. See Poliziano. 
Bergamo, Progress of Reformation 

in, 97. 
Betti, Francesco, 397. 
Bexa, Theodore, 387. 
Bianca, Domenica della Casa, 276. 
Bianchi, legate of Pius IV., 357. 
Biveron. See Tutschet, James. 
Blandrata, Georgius, 154, 374, 375. 
Blaterone, Maco, 297. 
Bocaccio, 6, 7, 14. 
Bologna, Progress of Reformation in, 

Bomberg, Daniel, 40, 45. 
Bonfadio, Jacopo, 121. 
Borromeo, Cardinal, 357-9,362, 381, 

Bracciolini, Poggio, 15, 16. 
Brescia, Progress of Reformation in, 

97, 137. 
Brucioli, Antonio, translator of the 

Scriptures, 54-56, 78, 406, 407. 
Buccianici, Marquis di, 263, 265. 
Bucer, Martin, 34, 36, 77, 83, 118, 

129, 140-142, 144, 145, 197, 303, 

Bullinger, Henry, 139, 222-4, 227, 

273, 328, 329, 331, 370-2, 385, 

387, 388, 394, 403. 
Buonarki, Angelo, 180, 181, 302. 

Cajetan, Cardinal, 48. 
Calabria, Waldenses in, 4, 257. 



Calandrino, Scipionc, SGI. 
Calcagnini, Celio, 73, 91, 182-184, 

Calvin, John, 70, 139, 141, 156, 

193, 217, 227, 242, 303, 377, 

381, 38 j, 307. 
Cdvus, (Calvi) Francesco, 32. 
Camerarius, Joachim, 153, 270, 272. 
Cnncrarius, Philip, 270, 272. 
Camillo Renato. See Renato. 
Cnnosa. See Paradisi Paolo. 
Cajmio. See Reuchlin. 
Gtraccioli, Galeazzo, 121. 
Caraffa, Cardinal, 84, 86, 106, 186, 

189, 193, 195, 201. See Paul IV. 
Carlino, Stefano, 262. 
Carnesccchi, (Carneseca) Pietro, 79, 

94, 121, 171, 175, 273, 287-296, 

303, 418. 
Caro, Annibale, 346. 
Cirpi, Cardinal of, 190. 
Casa, Delia, papal Nuncio, 226. 
Cascrta, Giovanni Francesco, 121. 
Cisimir, Count John, 405. 
Castclvctro, Gianmaria, 279. 
Castelvctro, Jacopo, 280. 
G.istclvetro, Ludovico, 76, 206, 208, 

210, 211, 379, 380. 
CastigUonc, Varnerio, 132. 
Ccllario, Francesco, 359, 360. 
Cclso, Mino, 130, 397, 398. 
Ccrvini, Cardinal. See Marcellus 

Cftahlaic language, studied in Italy, 

41, 44. 
Charles V., the Emperor, 58, 59, CI, 

81, 100, 106, 112, 203, 276, 317, 

Chiavenna, 336, 340, 341, 368, 370, 

379, 404, 406. 
Ciriaco of Ancona, 40. 
CiltadeUa, Progress of Reformation 

in, 137. 
Clario, Isidoro, 48, 49, 51. 

Claud, Bishop of Turin, 2. 

Coire, Bishops of, 310, 317, 321, 

351, 373. 
Coire, Town of, 313, 315, 324, 375, 

Clement VII., Pope, 58, 60, 61, 62, 

65, 68, 134, 288. 
Colli, Paolo di, 396, 397. 
Colonna, Marco Antonio, 28, 271. 
Colonna, Vittoria, marchioness of 

Pescaro, 112, 163-165. 
Comander, John, 313, 314, 315, 317, 

319, 32 1, 326, 329, 371, 373. 
Como, 37, 280, 336, 345. 
Conlarini, Cardinal, 78, 84, 120, 125, 

178,179, 192, 207, 208. 
Conte, Bernardino, 262. 
Corncllo, James, 102. 
Corrada, Alfonso, 397. 
Coitese, Cardinal, 84, 208. 
Cosmo. See Tuscany, grand duke 

of, 383. 
Craig, John, 270. 
Cranmer, Archbishop, 383. 
Crema, Batista de, 101- 
Cremona, Progress of Reformation 

in, 137. 
Curio, (Curionc) Celio Secundo, 74, 

101-106, 187, 188, 199, 200, 355, 

391, 398-400, 403, 425. 


Dante, 13, 52. 

Dorfman. See Comander, John. 

Bums, Taddeo a, 133, 240, 247. 


Ecolampade, John, 39, 129, 139, 147. 
Egidio of Viterbo, 1 8, 44, 49. 
Eglhius, Thobias, 272-274. 
Elias, an Abyssinian, 46. 
Erasmus, 30, 47, 48, 87, 129, 173, 

Erastus, Thomas, 88. 



Eni, Pellegrino, 208-210. 
Este, Anne of, 74, 218. 
Ethiopia language, studied in Italy, 
44, 45. 

Fabritz, Andrew, 314, 324. 
Facnza, Progress of Reformation in, 

88, 89. 
Fanino, (Fannio) Farentino, 274- 

Felicio, San, bishop of Cava, 182. 
Felix of Prato, 43. 
Ferrara, Progress of Reformation in, 

67, 75. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 211-213. 
Ferrara, Hercules II., Duke of, 67 

-70, 73, 78, 167, 209, 214-218. 
Ferrara, Renee, Dutchess of, 68- 

72, 172, 192, 199, 214-218. 
Fieri, Ludovico, 374. 
Fileno, Lisia. See Ricci, Paolo. 
Filonardo, Cardinal, 302. 
Flacio, Matteo, 94. - 
Fluminio, Marco Antonio, 73, 118, 

121, 127, 168-177, 180, 288,289, 

293, 295, 302, 303, 418. 
Florence, Progress of Reformation in, 

78, 79. 
Florio, Michele Angelo, 374. 
Folcngo, Giambatista, 48, 159, 180. 
Fontana, Balthasar, 38, 39, 131, 

Funzio, Bartolommeo, 268. 
Foscarari, Bishop of Modena, 182, 

269, 379. 
Fossia?icits. Jerom Niger, 102. 
Francesco of Calabria, 366, 367. 
Francis I. of France, 43, 44, 58, 

100, 317. 
Frederic/': II., 3. 
Fregoso, Cardinal Federigo, 36, 49, 

84, 120, 179, 180. 

Fregoso, Ottaviano, doge of Genoa, 

Frick, John, 315. 
Friuli, Progress of Reformation in, 

Froben, John, printer, 31. 


Gadaldino, Antonio, printer, 210. 
Gaddio, Paolo, 343, 347, 348. 
Gaffori, Cesare, 342. 
Galateo, Jeronimo, 236. 
Galat'mo, (Colonna) Pietro, 47. 
Gallitz, (Salutz) Philip, 314, 315, 

31 9, 324, 327, 328, 333. 
Gamha, Francesco, 280, 281. 
Gantner, 376. 
Genoa, Waldenses in, 4. Progress of 

Reformation in, 137. 
Gcntilis, Valentino, 134. 
Gesncr, Conrad, 385. 
Ghisleri, Michele. See Pius V. 
Gibert, Archbishop of Verona, 84. 
Giraldi, Lilio, 73. 
Gonzago, Cardinal of Mantua, 120, 

123, 226. 
Gonzago, Julia, Dutchess of Trajet- 

to, 162, 163, 289. 
Grataroli, Gulielmo, 397. 
Greek language, taught in Italy, 6. 
Gregory IX., Pope, 3. 
Grillcnzone, a physician of Modena, 

Grimani, Giovanni, 181, 182. 
Grisone, Annibale, 225, 226, 228. 
Grisons, 157, 230, 251, 308, 380. 
Gninthler, Andrew, 212. 
Gruntvald, a soldier personating the 

pope, 60, 61. 
Gualtieri, Pierpaolo, 45. 
Guarino, Francis, 102. 
Guicciardini, the historian, 20-22. 
Guidaccrio, Agathias, 43. 



Guirlauda, Julio, 233. 

Gidcr, John, 322. 

Guise, Francis, duke of, 217, 218. 


Hartman, Christian, 324. 

Hebrew language, cultivated in Italy, 

29, 39-56, 383. 
Henry II. of France, 215, 290. 
Hercules, II. See Ferrara, Duke of. 
Ho&ius, Cardinal, 396. 
Button, Ulric, 31. 

Ignatius, Patriarch of Antioch, 46. 

Imola, Progress of the Reformation 
in, 88, 89. 

Jstria, Progress of Reformation in, 
133-137. Suppression of Refor- 
mation in, 224. 

Jamet, Lyon, 70, 72. 

Jeronimo of Mantua, 366, 367. 

Jochana, a teacher of Hebrew, 41. 

Julius II., Pope, 20, 43. 

Julius III., Pope, 212, 268, 276, 

Justinian, Augustine, 43, 44. 


Kimchi, David, 42. 

Lacisio, Paulo, 124, 197, 402. 

Lampt idio, 302. 

Landolfo, Rodolfino, printer, 342. 

Languet, Hubert, 75. 

Lcntulo, Scipione, 344. 

Leo X., Pope, 20, 46, 102. 

Leon, Juan, (Leo Africanus) 44. 

Licbcr, Thomas. See Erastus. 

Locarno, Progress of Reformation in, 
131-133. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 239-252. 
Locarno, Benedetti, 122, 123, 132. 
Lo>i<roUits, Christopher, 137. 

Louis XII. of France, 68, 216. 

Lucca, Progress of Reformation in, 
1 23- 1 25. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 253-255. 

Lupetino, Baldo, 94, 235, 236. 

Luther, Martin, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 
39, 61, 75, 86, 87, 91, 98-100, 

129, 134, 138, 139, 142-148, 173, 
316, 384. 

Lyons, Italian church in, 405, 406. 


Maffci, Cardinal, 302. 

Mainardi, Agostino, 338, 341, 355, 

368, 370, 372, 377. 
Malermi, (Malerbi) Nicolo, 52, 53. 
Malhcsini, Tesso-Sionis, (Peter Sio- 

nita,) 45. 
Manetti, Giannozzo, 40. 
Mamicha, Isabella, 160, 346, 402. 
Mantua, Progress of Reformation in, 

130, 131. 

Mantua, Gulielmo, duke of, 356. 

Manuiius, Aldus, 294, 295. 

Manzolli, Pier Angelo, 73, 167, 168. 

Marcellus II., Pope, 45, 164, 165. 

Mardineus, Moses, 46. 

Marbach, John, 404. 

Marmocchini, Sante, 56. 

Marot, Clement, 70-72. 

Martinengho, Celso, 124, 346, 373, 
377, 403. 

Martinengho, Ulixio, count de Bar- 
cho, 361, 407, 408. 

Martyr, Peter, (Pietro Mar tire Ver- 
migli) 79, 107, 117-120, 123, 124, 
125, 168, 172, 190, 195-199, 254, 
277, 382-385, 391, 402, 403. 

Marzmie, 262, 

Massario, Jeronimo, 402, 403. 

Maturo, Bartolommeo, 332, 333. 

Medici, Angelo de. See Pius IV. 
Medici, John de, Marquis of Muss, 

Medici, Lorenzo de, 9. 



Melanchthon, Philip, 34, 3.5, 39, 57, 
87, 91-96, 129, 144, 145, 148, 
150-153, 155, 186, 193, 290,387, 

Milanese, Progress of Reformation in, 
100-106. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 353-365. 

Milan, Dukes of, 317, 354. 

MUano, Julio da, 191, 331, 338, 

339, 341, 342, 372, 388. 
'Mithridates, Teacher of oriental lan- 
guages, 41. 

Modcna, Progress of Reformation in, 
75-78. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 206-211. 

Modetia, Bishops of. See Morone 
and Foscarari. 

Mollio, John, 79, 80, 119, 276-279. 

Montalto, Barbara di, 248, 249. 

Monte, Cardinal de. See Julius III. 

Monti, Pompeio di, 271. 

Monlferat, Count, 103. 

Morata, Fulvio Peregrino, 73, 74, 
167, 182. 

Morata, Olympia, 74, 160, 212, 213, 
218, 275, 400, 402, 422-426, 

Morell, John, 175. 

Morone, Cardinal, 78, 100, 101, 178, 
207, 208, 269, 303. 

Moses, an Abyssinian deacon, 46. 

Muralto, Martino a, 133. 

Muretus, 294. 

Musculus, 403. 

Muzio, Girolamo, 229. 


Naples, Progress of Reformation in, 
106-123. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 255-257. 

Navarre, Margaret, Queen of, 69- 


Negri, Francesco, 154, 156, 339, 

340, 370. 

Negrino, Stefano, 283, 284. 
Nicholas V., Pope, 16. 


Ocltino, (Ocello) Bernardino, 107- 
117, 119, 122,125,154,156,164, 
165, 168, 172, 190-195, 197, 298, 
303, 381-383, 390-396. 

Orcllo, Lucia di, 248. 

Oritz, Inquisitor of Henry II., 215, 

Orsini. See Ursini. 


Padua, Progress of Reformation in, 

Pagnini, Sante, 47. 
Pagnino de Pagninis, 43. 
Falcario, Aonio, 125-130, 218, 297, 

304, 411, 413. 
Pallavicini, 86, 173. 
Palingenius. See Manzolli, Pier An- 

Panza, Inquisitor, 262, 263. 
Parodist, (Canossa) Paolo, 43. 
Paravkini, Family of, 342, 343, 368. 
Parma, Duke of, 239. 
Partlicnai, Anne de, 69, 74. 
Parthcnai, Jean de, sieur de Soubise, 

Paschali, Ludovico, 283-287, 406. 
Paul HI., Pope, 73, 84, 97, 100, 

125, 131, 134, 178, 185, 201, 

212, 268, 289. 
Paul IV., Pope, 28, 86, 158, 190, 

217, 239, 253, 268, 270, 280, 

290, 306, 379, 403. See Caraffa, 

Pcllican, Conrad, 383. 
Perez, Juan, 121. 
Pema, Petrus, printer, 397, 398. 
Pescaro, Marchioness of. See Co- 

Peter, Patriarch of theMaronites, 46. 
Petiliano, Count, 273. 
Petrarch, 6, 14, 52. 
Philip II. of Spain, 342, 354. 
Pico, John, count of Mirandula, 41. 



Pico, John Francis, count of Mir- 

andula, 18, 42. 
Pisano, Progress of Reformation in, 

Pius IV., Pope, 181, 204, 270, 290, 

291, 318, 357, 3(50. 
Pius V., Pope, 272, 291, 293, 298. 
Plantitz, John, 81-83. 
Pole, Cardinal, 84, 85, 120, 127, 

164, 173, 175-179, 197, 208,269, 

288, 302, 303. 
PJiziatio, Don Giovanni, 207. 
Pans, Antoine de, count de Ma- 

rennes, 69. 
PonticcUa, John, 328. 
Porta, Egidio a, 37, 38. 
Portus, Franciscus, 208, 379. 
Postel, William, 158. 
Potken, John, 45. 
Priuli, Aloysio, 127, 269. 


Quiriniy Cardinal, 85, 86, 165, 178, 


Rugnoni, Lattantio, 130. 

Rangone, Madonna Helena, of Ben- 

tivoglio, 161, 162. 
Renato, Camillo, 154, 156, 339, 340, 

367-373, 377, 386. 
Rente. See Ferrara, Dutchess of. 
Reuchlin, Isaiah, 214, 250. 
Rcuchlin, (Capnio) John, 29, 30,42. 
Ricci, (Lisia Fileno) Paolo, 77, 78. 
Riccio, Bartolommeo, 73, 302. 
Ricetto, Antonio, 233, 234. 
Ricoldu, Fra, 40. 
Rider, Peter, de Kornburg, 270, 

Riveida, Ottaviano, bishop of Ter- 

racino, 243, 247, 248. 
Rodolplw, Cardinal, 219. 
Rome, Progress of Reformation in, 


Rosalina, Catarina, 248. 
Rosselli, Lucio Paolo, 92. 
Rovere, Lavinia della, 160, 161, 

Runcho, Ludovico, 133. 
Rustici, Filippo, 56. 

Sadokt, Cardinal, 9, 10, 48, 57, 75, 
84, 87, 88, 112, 126, 178, 185, 
206, 208, 288, 302. 

Salice, Frederica, 230, 346. 

Salice, Hercules a, 230, 231, 340, 

Salmonius, Blasius, 31. 

Salutz. See Gallitz, Philip. 
Sannazzaro, 20. 

Sasollo, Don Hieronymo da, 207. 

Sauli, Theodorina, (Theodora,) 170. 

Savonarola, Jerome, 16-18. 

Savoy, Duke of, 103. 

Savoy, Margaret, Dutchess of, 290. 

Scaliger, the elder, 35. 

Schenk, Burchard, 33, 34. 

Schlegel, Theodore, 312, 313. 

Schonbcrg, Cardinal, 88. 

Scrimger, Henry, 227. 

Sega, Francesco, 233, 234. 

Seraphin, Cardinal, 35. 

Servetus, Michael, 149-152, 366, 
376, 378. 

Sfrondati, Cardinal, 302. 

Sicily, Progress of the Reformation 
in, 122, 123. 

Siculus, Camillus Renatus. See Re- 

Sicnncse, Progress of the Reformation 
in the, 125-130. 

Sigfrid, Andrew, 314. 

Sigismund, a German, 97. 

Sigonio, Carlo, 75. 

Sinapi, Chilian, 73. 

Sinapi, John, 73. 

Sionita. See Malhesini. 



Sirt us IV., Pope, 19. 

Socchii, Camillo, 374, 385. 

Soccini, Cclso, 385. 

Soccini, Cornelio, 385. 

Socchii, Mariano, 385. 

Socinas, Faustus, 155, 242,369, 389. 

Socinus, Lcelius, 154, 15G, 242, 372, 

374, 378, 385-389, 391, 394. 
Socinianism. See Antitrinitarianism. 
Soncinati, Printers, 39. 
Soranzo, Bishop of Bergamo, 229. 
Soubise, Madame de, 69-71. See 

Spalatinus, 33, 34. 
Spincllo, Salvatore, 259. 
Spinula, Francesco, 234. 
Sjiira, Francesco. 227, 228. 
Stancar, Francis, 42, 340, 370, 382. 
Staphylo, Bishop of Sibari, 62-64. 
Stello, Tomaso de Santo, 228. 
Steuchi, (Steuco) Augustine, 48. 
Stiirmius, James, 404. 
Sturmius, John, 86, 405. 

Tasso, Bernardo, 67, 73. 

Teglio, Silvestro, 397. 

Tcofilo, Massimo, 56, 78, 406. 

Terentiano, Julio, 191, 197, 339. 

Tisserano, 277. 

Toledo, Don Pedro de, Viceroy of 

Naples, 106, 107. 
Totomeo, Claudio, 193, 195. 
Tommassi, Fabrizio, 304. 
Travels, John, 322, 323. 
Trcbellio, Theodosio, 197. 
TrcmeUio, Emanuel, 124. 

Trcnta, Cristofero, 197. 

Trctisano, Progress of Reformation 
in, 97. 

Tresno, Galleazzo, 355. 

Troubadours, 12, 13. 

Turriano, Jeronimo, 374, 375. 

Tuscany, Cosmo, grand duke of, 78, 
29], 292. 

2 F 

Tulschct, (Biveron) James, 314, 


Ursino, (Orsini) Camillo, 160. 
Ursino, Madonna Cherubina, 161, 

Ursino, Madonna Magdalena, 161. 


Valdez, (Valdesso) Juan, 106, 107, 
116, 117, 118, 121, 122, 163, 172, 
191, 256, 288. 

Valentino, Bonifacio, 210. 
Valentino, Filippo, 208-211. 

Valla, Laurentius, 15, 48. 

Valliculi, Gabriele, 409. 

Valteline, 336, 342-376. 

Varaglia, Godfredo, 281-283. 

Vaudois. See Waldenses. 

Venice, Progress of Reformation in, 
89-100. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 218-237. 

Vergcrio, Giovanni Batista, bishop 
of Pola, 137, 225, 226. 

Vergcrio, Pierpaolo, bishop of Capo 
d'Istria, 34, 57, 134, 137, 139, 
140, 213, 225, 227, 230, 333-335, 
346, 370, 373, 377, 379, 380. 

Vermincl, 262. 

Verona, Progress of Reformation in, 
97, 137. 

Viceniino, Progress of Reformation 
in, 97. Suppression of Reforma- 
tion in, 219. 

Vittorio, Mariano, 45, 302. 

Vitus, (Veit) Theodorus, 91, 148, 

153, 164. 
Voragine, Jacopo da, 52. 


Waldenses, Settlement of, in Italy, 
3-6. Extirpation of, 257, 266, 282, 
283, 344. 

Waliher, Town-clcrk of Locarno, 



Widmanstudter, Albert, 46, 47. 
Wilson, Dr. Thomas, 306. 

Zaecario, Fra, 56. 
Zunclii, Basilio, 403. 
Zatichi, Dionigi, 403. 
Zurich! , Francesco, 403. 

Zanchi, Grisostomo, 403. 

Zanc/ri, Jeronimo, 156, 341, 377, 

380, 390, 403, 408. 
Zannetti, Julio, 3()4, 305. 
Zieglcr, James, 9 1 . 
Zuingle, Ulrich, 34, 36-39, 118, 132, 

138, 139, 147, 150, 313, 316, 





SEP a 3 1970